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Musk allows Trump to return to Twitter; watch Trump SPAC DWAC (Private:TWTR)

Justin Sullivan

Elon Musk will allow Donald Trump back on Twitter (TWTR) after the former president won a poll run by the billionaire who recently purchased the social media behemoth.

Twitter users voted 51.8% to 48.2% to allow Trump back on the social media platform after the Tesla (TSLA) chief conducted a poll that started on Friday night and included more than 15 million votes, according to a tweet from Musk.

Trump, who was banned from Twitter following the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January of last year, has said that he doesn’t plan to come back on the service and instead will used his own platform Truth Social to communicate.

On Saturday Trump encouraged people in a Truth Social post to vote in the Twitter poll, though he added “but don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere.” Trump also told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting on Saturday that he sees a lot of “problems at Twitter” and plans to stick with his own platform, according to media accounts of the event.

“I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said about returning to Twitter. “Truth Social has taken the place for a lot of people and I don’t see them going back onto Twitter.”

Trump’s reinstatement on Twitter also comes less than a week after the former president officially announced he would be running for re-election in 2024. Musk also recently reinstated the accounts of conservative media personality Jordan Peterson, the satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian and Trump critic Kathy Griffin.

Trump’s decision to return to Twitter or stay away could be a crucial one for SPAC Digital World Acquisition (NASDAQ:DWAC), which is taking his social media company and app Truth Social public. DWAC shares have been under pressure since Musk first announced plans to takeover Twitter earlier this year on fear that Trump would be allowed back on the service and return to his more than 88 million followers, rather than the 4.57 million he currently has on Truth Social. DWAC shares have plunged 78% since hitting highs in early March.

The Twitter news also comes ahead of a Tuesday vote for Digital World (DWAC) holders to approve a year extension to take Trump’s social media public through the SPAC. DWAC has had to adjourn votes on the extension six times in recent months as it’s failed to garner enough votes from retail shareholders. The New York Post reported earlier this week that DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando is personally calling investors with as few as 20 shares to convince them to vote on Tuesday.

It’s unclear what a Trump return to Twitter means for Meta Platform’s (META) Facebook, which banned Trump around the same time last year as Twitter. Facebook confirmed on Wednesday that it had no plans to reinstate Trump’s account, according to a CBS News report.

Video platform Rumble (RUM), which is viewed as a conservative alternative to Google’s (GOOGL) YouTube, could also see some impact if Trump decides to go back to Twitter. Rumble, run by CEO Chris Pavlovski, has gained much attention this year after it announced a deal with former Trump’s social media company and his platform Truth Social.

As for Tesla (TSLA), investors have been concerned about Musk’s involvement in Twitter and how much time he’s spending to to try reengineer the social media giant as well as his sale of Tesla shares to fund his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. Potential negative publicity from Musk’s decision to allow Trump back on the platform could hurt Tesla, whose shares have dropped 21% since Musk officially took over Twitter late last month.

Wedbush Securities scratched Tesla (TSLA) off its Best Ideas List earlier this month due to the overhang from Twitter.

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