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Dem Sen. Murphy calls for Twitter investigation over Saudi stake

Sen. Christopher Murphy at the 50th Munich Security Conference 2014. ( Marc Müller/Munich Security Conference/Released)
October 31, 2022

On Monday, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) said he wants Saudi Arabia’s stake in Twitter investigated due to national security concerns. Murphy’s call to action come just days after billionaire Elon Musk acquired Twitter in a $44 billion deal.

According to Reuters, Murphy said he plans to ask the Committee on Foreign Investment “to conduct an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia’s purchase of Twitter.”

On Friday, hours after Musk closed his deal to purchase Twitter, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal tweeted a press release stating that Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company and the prince’s private office will maintain their ownership of $1.89 billion in Twitter shares.

“Dear friend ‘Chief Twit’ @elonmusk Together all the way @Twitter,” the prince tweeted. Musk changed his Twitter bio to read “Chief Twit” in the lead up to his acquisition of the platform.

In one of his first moves as Twitter’s new owner, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal. He also fired Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, and Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel.

Gadde was a key player in the decision to permanently ban former President Donald Trump from the platform in 2021, according to The Washington Post. Musk previously said he not only opposed Trump’s ban, but that he would reinstate Trump’s account once he took over Twitter.

“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts… I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said during Financial Times’ Future of the Car event earlier this year.

“I would reverse the perma ban,” Musk said, adding that he and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey share the view that Twitter should not have permanent bans at all.