MSNBC primetime anchor Alex Wagner was duped into airing a fake statement on Thursday night in which former President Donald Trump purportedly claimed that his Twitter account would be reinstated following Elon Musk’s takeover of the company.
Wagner referenced the fake Trump statement live on her show shortly after Musk closed the deal to buy Twitter – noting that Musk’s pledge not to turn the platform into a “hellscape” would be put to the test.
“We will see about that ‘free-for-all hellscape’ promise and whether a certain Twitter account that once coined the term ‘covfefe’ is coming back,” Wagner quipped. “Side note, just a moment ago, Trump himself issued a statement congratulating Elon Musk on buying Twitter. He says his account will be back on Monday.”
The hoax statement attributed to Trump had circulated on Twitter prior to MSNBC’s mistake, with conservative author Dinesh D’Souza among those who shared it.
“Congratulations to Elon Musk on his purchase of Twitter. Many people are saying that change was needed, as the old management was too concerned with the woke agenda,” the fake statement said. “I have been told that my account will be back up and running on Monday – we will see. Happy to be able to engage with an African-American owned business!”
Wagner’s team later apologized for the error on Twitter.
“In the rush of reporting on Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter we included some bad information about Donald Trump’s reaction to the deal. We regret the error,” Wagner’s team said in a statement posted to the show’s official Twitter account.
The Post has reached out to MSNBC for additional comment.
Musk intends to end the practice of permanent bans on Twitter accounts now that his takeover of the company is complete, Bloomberg reported. Still, the billionaire has yet to address his plans for Trump’s account. It’s not clear whether Trump’s account will be reinstated in the near term, according to Bloomberg.
In May, Musk indicated that he would reverse Trump’s permanent suspension if he succeeded in buying Twitter.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts … I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said at the time.
“I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Musk’s pledge to re-emphasize free speech at Twitter has prompted concern among his critics that Trump’s account could be reinstated.
Trump has since founded his own social media platform, Truth Social. The ex-president previously indicated he did not plan to rejoin Twitter even if his account was restored.
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