Sen. Susan Collins, shown in January, said she believes Twitter should reinstate the account of former President Trump. Twitter banned him after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Tuesday expressed support for Elon Musk to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Collins, a Republican, made the remarks to the Huffington Post, a news organization that reports on national politics.

Her comments come one day after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who describes himself as a “free-speech absolutist,” reached an agreement to purchase the social media platform for $44 billion.

“Although I obviously don’t agree with a lot of President Trump’s tweets, I do think he should have his account back. To me, it’s ironic that we allow Russian government sites to be on Twitter but we don’t allow President Trump,” Collins told the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post story included interviews with other Republican legislators. Some said they would defer to Musk on allowing Trump to return, while others, such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, agreed with Collins.

“If Iranian leaders can be on and the Russians are going to be, I think that President Trump should be,” Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, told the Huffington Post.

Annie Clark, the spokesperson for Collins, said Tuesday evening that the Huffington Post story was based on a question that a reporter posed to Collins in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol. Clark confirmed that Collins made the remarks, and that the senator would have nothing further to add.

Trump was permanently banned from using Twitter after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He also was banned from Facebook. Trump regularly used the platforms to insult adversaries, cheer allies, fire administration officials, deny what he deemed “fake news” and vent grievances.

In a statement issued by Twitter on Jan. 9, 2021, the social media giant said, “US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account is permanently suspended … due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Trump told Fox News on Monday that he has no plans to return to Twitter, relying instead on his new social media platform, Truth Social, which launched in February. Truth Social is owned by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Musk has yet to say whether he would reinstate Trump’s account if the purchase is successful. Musk has publicly stated that Twitter will become a “digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

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