Trump Gains 25m Twitter Followers Overnight As Elon Musk Restores Account

Donald Trump's Twitter account has gained more than 25 million followers since Elon Musk restored the former president to the social media platform.

Trump's road back to Twitter began after new owner Musk, 51, posted a poll on Friday night asking whether the former president should have his account reinstated.

The poll ended with 52 percent voting in favor to reinstate Trump, prompting Musk to bring the account back. When the poll ended, some 15,085,458 people had voted.

Musk, who recently bought Twitter for $44 billion, said: "The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox populi, vox dei." The last words are Latin for "voice of the people, voice of God."

Split image of Musk and Trump
A split image of Elon Musk and Donald Trump. Trump has regained 25 million followers since Musk had his account reinstated. Getty

Trump was banned from Twitter on January 8, 2021, two days after his supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C. The former president later set up his own social media platform Truth Social.

But Trump, who had 88 million followers has indicated he will snub Twitter and has not posted on his account since a slim majority voted to bring him back.

On Saturday, Trump addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, and appeared to hint he would not return to Twitter.

Responding to a question about the poll, Trump said that Musk was a "character", who he "got on well with" during his presidency.

"He did put up a poll and I hear it's very overwhelming, very strong," Trump said, before quickly pointing out that he now has his own platform.

"Truth Social is through the roof, it's doing phenomenally well. The press hates to talk about it, but it's doing phenomenally well. I think engagement is much better than it is with Twitter."

Trump added: "But I hear we're getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don't see it because I don't see any reason for it. They have a lot of problems at Twitter, you see what's going on. It may make it, it may not make it."

Despite Trump indicating he would not return to the platform, many conservatives and Republicans have celebrated the reversal of his ban.

Recent Republican candidate for Arizona Governor, Kari Lake said: "He's back."

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whose wife Heidi was targeted by Trump during the race to secure the GOP nomination in 2016, appeared to be excited by the poll results and posted: "Hell YES."

Trump's reinstatement will likely thrill followers of the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, many of whom believe the former president will expose members of a global pedophile ring.

Following the poll result, QAnon influencer John Sabal told his 61,000 Telegram followers: "On your mark, @realdonaldtrump. We the people are ready."

But Trump's critics slammed Twitter's decision, and shared information that appeared to connect the former president closely with the storming of the Capitol on January 6.

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY), shared a link to the January 6 Select Committee government page, and tweeted: "With Trump back on Twitter, it's a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing. It covers each of Trump's tweets that day, including those that have been deleted, and features multiple Trump WH (White House) staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence."

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt was critical of Musk's decision and said in a Sunday tweet: "For @elonmusk to allow Donald Trump back on Twitter, ostensibly after a brief poll, shows he is not remotely serious about safeguarding the platform from hate, harassment, and misinformation."

Musk later replied to Greenblatt's tweet, commenting: "Hey, stop defaming me."

Newsweek has contacted Twitter, a Trump spokesperson, and the ADL for comment.