Former President Donald Trump toyed with speculation that he hopes to regain his place in the Oval Office.
The 45th president released a statement Friday that followed Facebook’s decision to keep him suspended from its platforms for at least a two-year period, alluding to a future in the White House one way or another.
“Next time I’m in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!” said Trump, who hosted Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, at the White House for a secret dinner in October 2019, according to NBC News.
The former president was banned from Facebook and Instagram, among other social media platforms, following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. He issued an earlier statement on Friday to say Facebook’s ruling to maintain the suspension “an insult to the record-setting 75M people, plus many others, who voted for us in the 2020 Rigged Presidential Election.”
If Trump continues to be a “serious risk” to public safety, his suspension could continue past the two years until the risk has receded, Facebook said in a press release.
This week the media landscape has been full of reports saying Trump has had conversations about his expectation that he will get reinstated by August, echoing a dubious assertion made by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has been an ally to the former president in pushing claims of 2020 election fraud.
Jason Miller, a top adviser and spokesman to Trump, told Newsmax it is “not true” when asked to comment on the “story” that Trump would be reinstated by August. And Lara Trump, who is married to Donald Trump’s son Eric, appeared on Fox News Thursday and cast doubt on whether Trump has talked about being reinstated, although she didn’t preclude the possibility.
“As far as I know, there are no plans for Donald Trump to be in the White House in August. Maybe there’s something I don’t know,” she said, adding that one explanation could be “a lot of folks getting a little worked up about something just because maybe there wasn’t enough pushback from the Republican side.”
Still, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who lit the frenzy of speculation on Tuesday when she tweeted Trump “has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August,” insisted there’s more than one possible answer to the question of how Trump intends to make a comeback.
After one journalist said Trump’s statement mentioning a return to the White House suggested he intends to run again for the presidency, Haberman tweeted in response: “Or that he’ll be back, regardless of how.”