Mark Zuckerberg has insisted Donald Trump did not try to lobby him at a secret White House dinner.
Instead, according to the Facebook CEO, he and the US president discussed "things that were on his mind, and, um, some of the topics that you'd read about in the news around, um, our work".
The intimate meeting in October was not publicly disclosed by the White House, and remained a mystery until weeks later, when a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that the event had taken place.
It came as Mr Zuckerberg faced widespread outrage that Facebook had decided to allow politicians to openly lie on their platform, despite fact-checking content from normal citizens.
Mr Trump, whose campaign had sparked criticism after buying misleading adverts about Joe and Hunter Biden, was publicly urging Facebook not to ban political advertising, fuelling speculation that the matter must have been discussed during their private dinner.
When reports emerged of the secret dinner, presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren - a vocal critic of Facebook and Mr Trump - claimed: "This is corruption, plain and simple."
As part of a row over Facebook's advert policy, Ms Warren in October took out a false advert on the site claiming the company had endorsed Mr Trump for president, escalating a feud with Mr Zuckerberg, who was recorded saying privately that he would "go to the mat and fight" if she brought regulation posing an "existential" threat to the company.
While readying himself for battle with the Democratic candidate, Mr Zuckerberg was reported to be courting right-wing pundits, allegedly hosting intimate dinners with the likes of Alex Jones and former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
When quizzed on Monday by CBS News' Gayle King about whether Mr Trump tried to lobby him during their dinner, Mr Zuckerberg said: "I think some of the stuff that people talk about or think gets discussed in these discussions are really not how that works."
Also reportedly in attendance were Melania Trump and Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member, outspoken conservative and donor to the Trump campaign.
On Monday, Mr Zuckerberg again defended his company's decision not to fact-check political adverts as a decision not to engage in censorship and to defend free speech, saying: "People should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying."
Meanwhile, Mr Trump remains subject to an ongoing impeachment inquiry, with his accusers alleging he threatened to withhold US military aid unless Ukrainian officials carried out tasks for his own personal political benefit.
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