- Roger Stone was banned from Twitter in 2017 after attacking journalists online.
- He attempted to join the platform after Elon Musk bought the site and was banned a few hours later.
- “I can’t wait to see how strong Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech is,” he said.
Longtime political operative Roger Stone briefly returned to Twitter after being permanently suspended – only to be banned again hours later, The Daily Beast reported.
“Well bitches, I’m back on Twitter,” former President Trump’s close ally said on Telegram early Thursday. “I can’t wait to see how strong Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech is.”
—Zachary Petrizzo (@ZTPetrizzo) April 28, 2022
The Daily Mail reported that Stone was on Twitter from around 1 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET, gaining around 80 followers before he was banned.
“I posted a new account to prove a point,” Stone told The Daily Beast.
Twitter on Monday agreed to Musk’s takeover of the site for $44 billion, after initially fighting against him. The deal is expected to close this year.
The billionaire said in a statement that he hopes “to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots and authenticating all humans”, while advocating for absolute freedom of expression.
A Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Stone’s account “has been permanently suspended for violating Twitter rules, specifically our ban evasion policy.”
Stone was originally suspended from Twitter in 2017 for targeting CNN reporters Jake Tapper and Don Lemon and New York Times columnist Charles Blow. Reporters reported on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Stone called it “fake news”, while adding derogatory insults.
“The battle against free speech has only just begun,” Stone told Politico after his initial ban. “It’s a weird way of doing business and it’s part and parcel of technology’s systematic effort to censor and silence conservative voices.”
In 2019, Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison on one count of obstruction, five counts of misrepresentation and one count of witness tampering for his involvement in the 2016 election, but Trump commuted his sentence.
Stone also said Trump’s Truth Social app, an alternative to Twitter, also censors his use of free speech.
Representatives for Twitter and Stone did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.