Within hours, Musk himself joined a Twitter “Spaces” livestream with the conspiracy theorist to welcome him back to the platform alongside a host of far-right figures, including Pizzagate conspiracist Jack Posobiec, anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and Andrew Tate, a conservative kickboxer facing human trafficking and rape charges in Romania, among others.
Host Mario Nawfal kicked off the proceedings by asking Jones how it felt to be back on the platform—which prompted Jones to laud Musk’s leadership of the flailing social media company and suggest the comments that had initially gotten him banned were taken out of context or were even the result of altered deepfake videos.
The decision to reinstate Jones’ account marked a stunning about-face for Musk, who just last year balked at the idea of unbanning the now-bankrupt provocateur, citing the lies he propagated about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.
“My firstborn child died in my arms,” Musk tweeted at the time (Musk’s first wife disputed his claim). “I felt his last heartbeat. I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”
Jones infamously falsely characterized the shooting as a “false flag” and maligned the parents of shooting victims. Later, when they took him to court, he admitted his statements were false and was ordered to pay $1.5 billion to the families of the victims. He and his company, Free Speech Systems, filed for bankruptcy and the families have yet to see even a fraction of the money they are owed.
Musk at one point during Sunday’s discussion attempted to ask Jones about the saga, saying: “One of the questions I really have to just get out of the way and you’re probably talking about this already before is the whole Sandy Hook thing. So what exactly did you say and what is wrong with that situation?”
Jones used the opportunity to claim he was simply asking questions and providing commentary about the shooting—and that he, just like Donald Trump, was the victim of a politically motivated judge.
“I had a very small operation and did not even understand how powerful I was,” he said. “And so when that event, the school shooting, which I do believe happened 11 years ago, the Internet exploded and it was the top story off and on for years. All these professors and former school safety people, all of them said they believed it was a drill and I simply covered them covering that.”
“Suddenly I would wake up and there would be sometimes 100 articles or more a day, every major news channel saying that I was currently saying nobody died, or currently sending people to their houses, currently peeing on graves. I don’t even know these people’s names,” Jones insisted.
“I’ll say it again, I apologize that I just gave my commentary because I’m really just a guy, a talk radio host. I do that on the Internet. I just take calls and interview guests and I play devil’s advocate. And if that hurt people’s feelings, I apologize. But I did not send people to your houses. I did not pee on graves. I don’t know any of the stuff that went on.”
Jones’ comments capped a banner day for the Infowars founder, who first celebrated Musk’s decision to reinstate his X account with a repost of a post by Andrew Tate. The kickboxer-turned-right-wing-influencer encouraged his followers to celebrate Jones’ return to X, writing: “To show respect to Alex Jones for his triumphant return and to show respect to Elon being a hero—tell a globalist to get fucked today... Were [sic] so back.”
Jones, in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, pleaded with Musk for his account to be unbanned.
“I trend all the time, ‘Hey, if you’re such an absolutist on free speech, bring back Alex Jones,’” Jones said. “I understand that he needs to go through a process before he does that.”
Musk in turn issued a poll on X Saturday, asking users to weigh in on Jones’ reinstatement. Seventy percent of X accounts that participated in the poll voted to unban Jones, enough to overturn the five-year-old ban.
In 2018, Twitter banned Jones after months of mounting pressure and after several other platforms had taken the step. The final straw came after Jones berated CNN reporter Oliver Darcy and posted the video on Twitter, one employee told The Daily Beast at the time.
“Those are the eyes of a rat,” Jones said of Darcy to his face in the video. Jones had 1.5 million followers at the time.