Trump Calls Facebook CEO a 'Criminal' for Donating $400m to Election Offices
20:56 GMT 28.10.2021 (Updated: 18:23 GMT 03.11.2022)
Reacting to his two-year ban from Facebook, Trump previously accused Facebook of bias for permanently suspending his account after the January 6 Capitol riot.
Former President Donald Trump blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement, accusing the social media executive of being a "criminal" for donating $400 million in funding to local election offices last year.
"Mark Zuckerberg, in my opinion, a criminal, is allowed to spend over $400 million and therefore able to change the course of a Presidential Election, and nothing happens to Facebook," Trump said in an emailed statement to supporters, according to The Independent.
27 October 2021, 16:30 GMT
The hundreds of millions of dollars that were donated by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan last year were allegedly for the purpose to help election officials that were struggling to secure enough funding to implement safety precautions and engage voters in safe, in-person voting — ensuring the election would not be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, the Facebook chief executive shot down claims that the organizations receiving donations had a partisan agenda after multiple lawsuits were filed to block the funds.
“These funds will serve communities throughout the country — urban, rural and suburban — and are being allocated by non-partisan organizations,” Zuckerberg concluded.
The contribution was distributed toward the purchases of masks and gloves for workers and for additional equipment to assist elections officials sort and process mail-in ballots.
A spokesman for Zuckerberg and Chan responded to the former president's comment in a statement to Business Insider.
"When our nation's election infrastructure faced unprecedented challenges last year due to the pandemic and the federal government failed to provide adequate funds, Mark and Priscilla provided funding to two non-partisan organisations that helped cities and states ensure that residents could vote regardless of their party or preference."
10 September 2021, 11:35 GMT
The spokesman also clarified that the funds were not just distributed to Democratic districts, stating that more Republican districts applied for and were equally awarded.
Trump sharpens his attack on Zuckerberg just as he hypes up his latest endeavour — a new communications platform aimed at providing users an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. He introduced the site as "a beacon of freedom" and a "place to speak freely and safely."
Last week, The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) said it will become a publicly listed company as an alternative to liberal media and will launch a social network named TRUTH Social.