Trump said he might have banned Facebook as president but 'Zuckerberg kept calling' and telling him how great he was

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Trump Zuckerberg
Former President Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty
  • Trump made the statement after Nigeria banned Twitter, which deleted a tweet from its president.

  • Trump is permanently barred from Twitter, and he's barred from Facebook until January 2023.

  • He also said "2024?" referencing the next election. He's said he wants to run again, reports said.

  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday said more countries should ban Twitter and Facebook, two platforms that booted him over the risk of incitement of violence after the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

"Congratulations to the country of Nigeria, who just banned Twitter because they banned their President," Trump said. "More COUNTRIES should ban Twitter and Facebook for not allowing free and open speech - all voices should be heard."

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump made the statement after Twitter deleted a tweet posted by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday after he threatened to punish secessionists responsible for recent attacks on electoral offices and police stations. The Nigerian president also referenced the nation's civil war in the 1960s that resulted in 1 million deaths, Reuters reported.

Nigeria responded by suspending Twitter indefinitely from the country.

Trump also suggested that if more governments ban Twitter and Facebook, "competitors will emerge and take hold." Alternative social-media platforms with looser rules, such as Parler and Gab, have sprouted up in the past year, turning into hot spots for some conservatives who say that mainstream social websites are censoring them.

Trump then said he should have banned the two major social platforms when he was president, but said he didn't because of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"Zuckerberg kept calling me and coming to the White House for dinner telling me how great I was," Trump said in the statement. In late 2019, news surfaced that Zuckerberg met with Trump and Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member and Trump supporter, in a secret dinner in October.

"We talked about a number of things that were on his mind, and some of the topics that you read about in the news around our work," Zuckerberg told "CBS This Morning"'s Gayle King in December 2019.

Trump finished his statement with "2024?" presumably referencing the year of the next presidential election. Trump has told close associates that he wants to run for office again in 2024 as long as he's healthy, Politico reported.

Twitter has said that even if he does decide to run, Trump will remain permanently barred from the platform, which was the former president's favorite mouthpiece during his time in office. Twitter removed him from its platform on January 8.

And a Trump ally has said that his Facebook account is "essential for his future political viability," specifically his fundraising and online campaign strategy, should he run for office again in 2024. Last week, Facebook announced that Trump would remain suspended until January 2023, at which point he could be reinstated if there is no "serious risk to public safety."

Twitter declined to comment.

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