Fired Parler CEO John Matze explained in an interview with Axios that he never thought it was a good idea to have former President Donald Trump involved in the social media site that is funded by one of his largest campaign donors.
"I didn't like the idea of working with Trump, because he might have bullied people inside the company to do what he wanted. But I was worried that if we didn't sign the deal, he might have been vengeful and told his followers to leave Parler," said Matze.
BuzzFeed reported this week that at a Mar-a-Lago meeting last summer Matze would give a 40 percent stake in Parler to the Trump Organization if the former president made Parler his only social media site. The meeting wasn't with Trump, however.
In the interview, Matze said he's not sure why Trump never joined the website and "if I were Trump I would have joined" because "it was clear that he was going to get banned." He explained that he and Parler made it clear that they would never ban Trump unless he broke their rules, which are looser than other social media sites.
Fox News' Sean Hannity reported that Trump had joined the site, but Matze said that it clearly wasn't under his real name because there isn't a Donald Trump account.
"I think he did because -- but I think it's a pseudonym account and that's just because I don't think Hannity would be lying on television that Trump had an account," he said.
Watch the interview clip below:
AXIOS on HBO: Former Parler CEO John Matze (Clip) | HBO www.youtube.com