Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is in talks with Meta about restoring his Facebook account and called his expulsion from social media networks “a major business mistake” for them.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, just a day after his campaign reportedly wrote to Meta requesting reinstatement of his account, Trump claimed his exile has cost the company $700 billion.
“If they took us back, it would help them greatly, and that’s OK with me,” Trump said. “But they need us more than we need them.”
Meta banned Trump “indefinitely” following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the time said the risk of allowing Trump to continue to use the platform after he undermined the peaceful transfer of power would be “too great.”
But later that year, Meta revised its approach after its expert-led oversight board’s criticism that “it was not appropriate for Facebook to impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”
In June 2021, Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of global affairs, said Trump’s ban would last for two years from the date of his Jan. 7, 2021, suspension.
Meta is expected to announce a reinstatement decision soon.
Trump’s campaign on Tuesday sent a letter to Clegg, Zuckerberg and Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, requesting a meeting. The Trump ban, the letter alleged, has “dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse.”
“Every day that President Trump’s political voice remains silenced furthers an inappropriate interference in the American political and election process,” the letter stated, according to a copy obtained by NBC News.
Other social media companies, including Twitter and YouTube, also banned Trump in the aftermath of Jan. 6. Billionaire Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s Twitter account in November, but Trump has yet to tweet.
Trump has continued posting on his own Truth Social platform, but his reach there is much narrower than with major platforms. His Truth Social account boasts 4.82 million followers. His Twitter account has 87.7 million.