Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says there's no secret deal with Trump

The social network CEO tells Axios that rumors of a secret understanding with the president are "pretty ridiculous."

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells Axios he believes in a broad definition of free expression.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg says speculation that he has some kind of secret understanding with President Donald Trump is "pretty ridiculous." In an interview with Axios published Monday, the Facebook CEO dismissed the rumors and defended the social network's policies around political speech.

"I've heard this speculation, too, so let me be clear: There's no deal of any kind," Zuckerberg told Axios. "Actually, the whole idea of a deal is pretty ridiculous."

Zuckerberg has faced criticism for standing by the company's hands-off response to controversial posts by Trump. Facebook is also facing an ad boycott this month organized by civil rights groups that say the company isn't doing enough to combat hate speech. 

He acknowledged he's had meetings with Trump but told Axios that him meeting with a "head of state should not be surprising, and does not suggest we have some kind of deal." 

The Facebook CEO reportedly went on to cite multiple disagreements with the president, including his immigration policies and "divisive and inflammatory rhetoric."

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