Elon Musk reinstated the X account of Alex Jones over the weekend, then welcomed the conspiracy-spreading radio host back to the platform by participating in a live interview with him. During the course of Musk’s hour-and-a-half appearance on the call, Jones blamed his reputation as a fabulist on “the media and PR firms” and praised Musk for allowing him to return to X and tell his own story.
Jones was banned from the platform then known as Twitter in 2018 for “abusive behavior” that involved comparing a CNN reporter to “the Hitler Youth.” At that point, he was already well known for spreading lies about the Sandy Hook school shooting, where 20 children and six adults were killed, baselessly claiming it was fake or part of a government plot. He was later found liable for defamation and ordered to pay over $1 billion for spreading the hoax. Jones, who was at one point held in contempt of court for disregarding a judge’s orders, has spent the past year attempting — with limited success — to evade the fine by filing for bankruptcy.
“Denying the murders of children, that’s not cool, at all,” Musk said
Musk had previously said he wouldn’t allow Jones to return to the platform because he had “no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.” But that was a whole 12 months ago, and in the time since, Musk has continued to welcome fringe far-right views to X and endorsed troubling conspiracy theories himself. Now, Musk says Jones is welcome on the platform as long as he doesn’t break any laws while using it.
On their live audio call on X, Musk asked Jones to explain his comments on Sandy Hook. “Denying the murders of children, that’s not cool, at all,” Musk said. “So just what exactly did you say and what is going on with that situation?”
Those answers are available in court records and would confirm that Jones did in fact deny the murders of children and promote the conspiracy theory that their families were actors. Instead, Musk allowed Jones to rewrite the story. Jones proceeded to misrepresent his own statements on Sandy Hook, falsely claiming he had largely been covering remarks made by “professors” and “school safety people.”
Jones repeatedly used the call to praise Musk
Later in the call, Musk and Jones were joined by an array of other speakers from the very-online circuit, including Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, conspiracy theorist and former Trump advisor Michael Flynn, US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL), VC and podcast host Jason Calacanis, and influencer Andrew Tate, who earlier this year was charged with rape and human trafficking.
Ramaswamy praised getting to know Jones as “eye opening” and supported his return to X. “There are people who have ... made some mistakes, said some things that were wrong, and said some other things that were dead right that nobody else was saying either,” he said of Jones.
Jones used portions of the call to rail against (and argue about the definition of) “globalists” and peppered in language about “world government” and “social credit scores.” Mostly, though, he spent a lot of time praising Musk. “I’m not kissing ass here,” Jones said. “Elon, you’ve got big ones, man, on every front.”
The unbanning of Jones comes less than a month after Musk endorsed tweets that promoted white nationalist viewpoints and antisemitic conspiracy theories. His remarks led to yet another wave of advertisers departing X in response, which Musk blamed on the media ignoring his “clarifications” on his point of view.
“It was answered”
Jones tried to draw comparisons between himself and Musk as two men who, in his view, were both being unfairly targeted for their past remarks. “It’s just like they misrepresent what you say, take one little thing and twist it, then say you need to apologize for it and just keep hammering it and hammering it,” Jones said.
Musk has increasingly courted far-right influencers to X under the banner of allowing free speech and open conversations. As he’s done so, he’s also started to endorse and promote some of their ideas. In November, he replied to a tweet endorsing the antisemitic “great replacement” conspiracy, calling it the “actual truth.”
By the time Calacanis popped onto the X audio call, asking Jones to explain his Sandy Hook comments once again, both Musk and Jones had heard enough. “I’m not gonna live in Groundhog Day,” Jones said, refusing to discuss his remarks further. Musk chimed in later, “It was answered ... I think people will eventually get tired of you answering the question.”