May 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump seen as likely to run in 2024; Facebook ban enrages GOP

Donald Trump

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sources close to former President Trump believe he’s increasingly likely to run in 2024 — and that was even before the Facebook Oversight Board inflamed conservatives by upholding the ban on the former president.

Why it matters: Trump and his inner circle view Facebook reinstatement as crucial to his political comeback. The independent Oversight Board's decision, which gives the company six months to make a final determination, enraged Trumpworld.

Driving the news: Republicans instantly threatened regulatory vengeance. Mark Meadows, former White House chief of staff under Trump, said on Fox News that the announcement was "a sad day for America."

  • "It's a sad day for Facebook because I can tell you a number of members of Congress are now looking at: Do they break up Facebook? Do they make sure that they don't have a monopoly?"
  • "I can tell you that it is two different standards — one for Donald Trump, and one for a number of other people that are on their sites and suggesting more nefarious things than what the president has been accused of, [and] actually go unnoticed, often."

Meadows said the discussion about breaking up Big Tech will begin "within hours" on Capitol Hill: "This is a sad day for America, but a sadder day for the Facebooks of the world, who have actually enjoyed a very wild, wild West kind of regulatory environment. I can tell you that's going to change."

  • The decision gives Trump a juicy new target. But he needs Facebook for a run — both for its fundraising power, and for identifying and mobilizing supporters.
  • His advisers submitted a lengthy written argument to the Oversight Board, and were cautiously optimistic that Trump would be re-platformed.

A top Republican consultant told Axios the decision "reaffirms the view that Big Tech is biased against conservatives."

  • "I don’t think there’s going to be single conservative in America who’s surprised by this," the consultant said.
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