Donald Trump has petitioned Meta Platforms to unblock his Facebook and Instagram accounts that were locked after the Capitol attacks two years ago.
A continued ban would constitute “a deliberate effort by a private company to silence Mr. Trump’s political voice,” Trump’s campaign wrote to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, according to a copy reviewed by USA TODAY.
Trump told Fox News Digital that Facebook “needs us more than we need them.”
Meta Platforms is set to decide this month if it will lift the ex-president’s suspension as he makes another run for the White House.
Democrats and advocacy groups oppose Trump’s reinstatement.
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Trump has not been allowed to post on Facebook and Instagram since his accounts were indefinitely shut down following the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
At the time, Facebook initially said the ban was indefinite. After its outside board weighed in, the company said it would decide this month whether to lift it.
Two Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Meta last month urging the company not to reinstate Trump on its platforms, arguing that his continued lies about the 2020 election are an attack on American democracy.
Trump’s Twitter account was revived by Elon Musk in November, but Trump has not tweeted.
Conservatives say the bans were the result of politically motivated censorship by left-leaning technology executives that could unfairly hobble Trump in his presidential bid.
The request from the Trump campaign was first reported by NBC News.
More than two months after announcing he would again seek the presidency, Trump hits the campaign trail next week with a low-key stop in the early primary state of South Carolina.
It will not be a rally; instead, the former president will travel to Columbia, S.C., to appear with prominent Republican supporters, including Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Trump, who is being blamed by some Republicans for the party’s faltering performance in last year’s elections, will also appear with “members of the South Carolina congressional delegation and state lawmakers as he unveils his South Carolina Leadership Team,” the campaign said in a statement.
As a number of Republicans consider challenging Trump for the Republican nomination, it seems that he is eager to show off his support in a state that is again expected to hold an early primary.
South Carolina also just happens to be the home of two potential Trump opponents: Former Gov. Nikki Haley and current U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.