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Republicans and Democrats in Congress Tuesday were split on Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, with Republicans lauding it as a chance to improve the platform and Democrats raising concerns about its future.
“In many ways Twitter has been a dark, dark place. I hope it doesn’t get any darker,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.
“I think it’s great, God bless. A great day for freedom and the First Amendment,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Fox News. “The left’s going crazy when you’ve got a, what, electric car maker who likes the First Amendment.”
Twitter’s board Monday unanimously accepted Musk’s $44 billion offer to take the social media giant private Monday. That adds to the list of high-profile enterprises under the control of Musk, the richest man in the world. Musk is also in charge of Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, which specializes in underground tunnels.
Some Democrats Tuesday said it’s worrying that one man can control so much.
“When a billionaire amasses this much power, he plays by different set of rules than everyone else. And that means one person can literally turn upside down how millions of people across this country communicate,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said. “The billionaires during this pandemic amassed more and more wealth, so they can buy whatever toys whatever influence whatever power they want. And that’s a real problem in this country.”
“It’s a situation where he has to establish clear rules about what’s appropriate and what’s inappropriate, and stick by those rules” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said.
Reed added that Musk must, “make sure that it becomes a place where people can communicate and not a place where a message can be shaped by him or somebody else, constantly delivered, to the exclusion of others.” Reed said he’s unsure of whether the billionaire is serious about that commitment.
Republicans, meanwhile, appeared excited about the possibility that Musk might change some of the content moderation rules on Twitter, which they see as favoring Democrats.
“An incredible event,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said. “It’ll be interesting to see what impact it has on the way Twitter operates. But we’re all watching it with a great deal of interest because there’s certainly been our share of complaints about the way it’s been run in the past.”
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, was behind the shutting doors of the Senate subway when Fox News asked him how he felt about Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Through the glass of the subway window, Crapo smiled and flashed a thumbs-up.
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Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, meanwhile took Musk’s purchase of Twitter as a chance to push for job creation in Texas.
“He already has moved Tesla and his boring company to Texas and of course has a huge presence with SpaceX,” Cornyn said. “So I think he should just move the whole kit and caboodle to Texas.”
And asked about Trump possibly returning to Twitter — something Politico reported many Republicans are privately dreading — Cornyn said “it sounds like Trump has already made his decision to stick with his competitor.”
Fox News’ Kelly Phares and FOX Business’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.