“I heard he was going to run for president. That wouldn’t be too frightening, I don’t think,” Trump told “Squawk Box” co-host Joe Kernen in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“But he does have that monster behind him,” Trump said, referring to Facebook, which is facing multiple antitrust probes from federal and state investigators.
Speculation swirled in 2017 that Zuckerberg, co-founder of the social network, was interested in making a bid for office after he hired Democratic pollster Joel Benenson for his philanthropic project. Benenson advised former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign. Additionally, Zuckerberg embarked on a listening tour across the U.S., and hired Charles Ommanney, a photographer for both the George W. Bush and Obama presidential campaigns.
Zuckerberg, however, has denied he wants to run for president.
Just months ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Facebook has gotten flak refusing to remove or fact-check ads from political candidates even when the ads contain false information. Facebook has argued that fact-checking political ads could interfere with free speech in politics, though other tech companies, such as Twitter and Spotify, have taken strict stances.
“I’d rather him just do whatever he’s going to do,” Trump told CNBC on Wednesday. “He’s done a hell of a job, and he’s going to do what he has to do.”
Facebook has been working to regain users’ trust after the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal, which happened on the heels of the disclosure that Russian operatives used Facebook to try to influence the 2016 presidential election. The company soon after began cracking down on “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” but some still fear the platform will be vulnerable to similar tactics in November.