Former President Donald Trump made a return to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, by posting his mug shot from his booking at Fulton County Jail in Georgia. In his post, he appealed for donations and regained direct access to the public after being banned from the platform following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress by his supporters.
The San Francisco-based app, under the ownership of billionaire Elon Musk, reversed its position on Nov. 19 and allowed Trump back on the platform. Trump, who had over 88 million followers when he was banned, posted a photo of his mug shot with the words “ELECTION INTERFERENCE! NEVER SURRENDER!” The post quickly gained over 14 million views within 50 minutes.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account in January 2021, citing the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Trump had used Twitter and other social media platforms to claim voter fraud and share conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
On Nov. 15, Trump announced his bid to regain the White House in 2024.
In a recent development, Trump opted out of a Republican primary debate on Fox News and instead participated in an interview on X with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson. The interview drew nearly 250 million views as of Thursday night.
Despite his commitment to his new platform Truth Social, developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup, Trump broke from his vow and returned to X. Truth Social had been his main source of direct communication with his followers since May.
TMTG had announced a deal to go public by merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC), but the deal is now in doubt due to investigations by the Department of Justice and SEC. The deadline for shareholders of DWAC to vote on extending the merger is Sept. 5.
In 2021, Trump sued Twitter over his suspension, claiming it violated his right to freedom of speech. The case was dismissed by a U.S. judge in California, but a federal appeals court in Pasadena will review the dispute on Oct. 4.
The article was reported by Eric Beech, Costas Pitas, and Mike Scarcella, and edited by Howard Goller and Stephen Coates. The reporting adheres to the Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.
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