Trump Returns to Social Media Site with Mugshot Fundraising Appeal
Former President Donald Trump made his return to the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday by posting his mugshot from when he was booked at Fulton County Jail in Georgia earlier that day.
With his post, which included an appeal for donations, Trump regained direct access to the public on the platform that banned him following the 6 January 2021 attack on Congress by his supporters. On 19 November the San Francisco-based app reversed its position under billionaire Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" who bought Twitter on 2 October.
Trump, who had over 88 million followers when Twitter banned him, posted a photo on Thursday of the mugshot with the words: "ELECTION INTERFERENCE! NEVER SURRENDER!"
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. He used Twitter and other social media platforms to claim his defeat in the 2020 election was due to widespread voter fraud and to share other conspiracy theories.
On 15 November Trump launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024. On Wednesday, Trump opted out of a Republican primary debate on Fox News (FOXA.O), attracting millions of viewers who watched - or at least scrolled by - a rival interview on X.
That 46-minute conversation with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson had drawn nearly 250 million views as of Thursday night, according to the site's statistics. Trump had said he would stick with his new platform Truth Social, the app developed by his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) startup. Trump had 6.4 million followers on Truth Social as of Thursday.
Truth Social has been Trump's main source of direct communication with his followers since he began posting on the app regularly in May. The former president has used Truth Social to promote his allies, criticise his opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.
Trump posted mugshot fundraising appeal in return to X social media site
Former president regained direct public access after 2021 Capitol attack ban
Follows X's policy reversal under new owner Elon Musk
Trump retains millions of followers from his pre-ban Twitter account