Gab chief executive Andrew Torba says Donald Trump does not use the social media platform, after false reports in the media claimed that he does.
In a post on Gab, Mr Torba blames “dopey advisers like Jared Kushner” for keeping the former president off the self-described “free speech social network.
Reports circulated on Friday that Mr Trump had returned to social media after being banned from Twitter and Facebook and following the demise of Parler.
In fact, the account believed to belong to the former president is not his. It is thought that confusion arose from the presence of a blue check mark indicating the account was verified.
Mr Torba explained in a post on gab: “@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years. We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it.”
He continued: “The only reason he’s not using it right now to contact his base is because dopey advisers like Jared Kushner, who lost him the election, are blocking him from using it.”
The post on Gab that was mistakenly thought to be made by the former president was a copy of a letter sent by Mr Trump’s legal team to Congressman Jamie Raskin who had called on him to testify at his second impeachment in the Senate.
The letter, signed by lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr, states: “We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen.”
Mr Trump faces one article of impeachment in his Senate trial that begins on Tuesday — incitement of insurrection — for his role in encouraging his supporters to storm the US Capitol leading to the deaths of five people. He has refused to testify in the trial.
Doubling down on his statement that Mr Kushner is keeping Mr Trump off the platform, Mr Torba said: “We will go on the record stating that we know 100% for a fact that Jared Kushner is actively trying to keep Trump off Gab and has been for weeks. Because Gab is the only safe place left for conservatives that means Kushner is trying to keep Trump off the Internet. Why?”