Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday slammed Elon Musk’s allegations that he threatened to launch Apple. Twitter from its App Store — and took a dig at the iPhone maker for its history of collaboration with the Chinese Communist Party.
DeSantis came to Musk’s defense The billionaire Twitter CEO accused Apple of “threatening to pull Twitter from its app store, but not telling us why.” Musk also said that Apple — previously one of Twitter’s biggest advertisers — has pulled back ads in recent days.
In response, the Republican governor said Musk’s move to restore thousands of banned Twitter accounts could be to blame for Apple’s alleged moves — and that the company’s response should be called for scrutiny from Washington.
“If Apple were to respond to that by making them accessible from the App Store, I think that would be a huge, huge mistake, and it would be a raw exercise of monopoly power, and I think it would deserve a response from the United States Congress,” DeSantis said.
“Don’t be a slave to religion [Chinese Communist Party] On the one hand, use your corporate power in the United States to suffocate Americans and try to suppress their right to express themselves,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis accused Apple of providing “aid and comfort” to the CCP by restricting use of its Airdrop feature in China, where protests against government-backed, strict COVID-19 lockdowns have spread across the country.
The Post has reached out to Apple for comment.
Apple is already trying to fend off Republican criticism of its business ties with China.
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with top lawmakers — Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rep. Including Brian Schatz. (D-Hawaii), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) under the guise of antitrust concerns.
But insiders told The Post that lawmakers will undoubtedly question him about other key concerns facing Apple: namely that the company is tacitly agreeing to suppress CCP opposition.
A frequent critic of the “woke” actions of major American corporations, DeSantis previously engaged in a war of words with Disney over the company’s public opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill. That controversy culminated in a DeSantis-led effort to revoke Disney’s special tax status in Florida.
Musk attacked Apple in a series of tweets on Monday, accusing the iPhone maker of using control of the App Store to stifle free speech. In one post, he mentioned Cook.
“Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America? Musk said. “What’s going on here @tim_cook?”
Musk also ripped Apple 30% reduction in revenue From major app developers featured in its app store. Additionally, he posted a poll asking followers whether Apple should “disclose all audit activity affecting its customers.”
Nearly 85% of respondents agreed with Musk’s recommendation in the poll, which attracted more than 2.2 million participants.
“The people have spoken …” Musk added on Tuesday afternoon.
Musk has lined up detractors in recent days before leading efforts to reassert a “complete” free speech model for Twitter’s content moderation practices.
This week, Twitter reinstated more than 62,000 accounts suspended under the previous administration, including 11,000 pages banned for violating the company’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. The platform said.
In a separate update on its website, Twitter said it will stop enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy effective November 23.
Musk had previously angered critics, but former President Donald Trump lifted the ban on the account, which was in place shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
DeSantis and Musk have expressed mutual support on several occasions in recent months, with the Florida governor praising his decision to acquire and restructure Twitter.
Meanwhile, Musk reiterated last week Plans to support DeSantis If he runs for President of the United States in 2024.
“My choice for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I was hoping this would happen for the Biden administration, but so far disappointed,” Musk tweeted last Friday. Asked if he would support DeSantis, Musk responded with a simple “yes.”