Until yesterday (Aug. 24), Donald Trump hadn’t posted on X since January 2021, when the platform was still called Twitter. But after he surrendered yesterday at Fulton County Jail in Georgia, over charges of election interference, he promptly posted his mug shot along with the text “Election interference! Never surrender!”
The post also includes a link to his website, through which he is fundraising for—ironically enough—his 2024 presidential election campaign.
The former US president– the first in history to face criminal charges—was booked for racketeering and conspiracy charges over his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. This case marks the fourth in which he’s been indicted since March; the others leveled charges of making hush money payments; removing classified documents to his residence in Mar-a-Lago; and other efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection .
Trump had been banned from Twitter on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol Hill debacle. But he got his @realDonaldTrump account back in November 2022—shortly after Elon Musk bought the platform. Since then, Trump has shown little eagerness to tweet, posting instead on his own social media company Truth Social.
Trump has always used Twitter as a megaphone, attacking dissenters, posting inflated progress reports, and more. His immense, dedicated following, in tandem with political bot accounts, pushed his messaging far and wide during the 2020 elections. As the next election looms, and Trump races ahead of other Republican candidates, he’s preparing to cast a wider net for campaign financing: hence his opportunistic return to X, which Musk called “next-level.”
“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
82 million: The number of views that Trump’s mugshot and donation appeal post on X, at the time of publishing this article, fewer than 24 hours after he had posted
18 months: The duration of the exclusivity deal that Trump reportedly had with Truth Social, which mandated that he make his posts available on the platform for six hours before sharing them with other sites. The deal expired on June 22, according to press reports
60%: The proportion of Trump’s 1,500+ post-election tweets, between Nov. 4, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021, that sought to undermine legitimacy of the presidential race
$350,000: The fine that Twitter faced earlier this year for being in contempt of court after delaying its delivery of information related to the @realDonaldTrump account, amid an investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election results
Aside fro Trump turning himself in, this has been a momentous week for American politics because of the first Republican debate, in which eight presidential hopefuls traded barbs. Trump sat the political mega-event out, opting instead for a pre-recorded interview with the conservative broadcaster Tucker Carlson, who posted it on X.
When Bret Baier of Fox News, the debate moderator, asked the candidates about Trump, “the elephant not in the room,” she met a divided response. Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur who was among the touted winners of the debate, called Trump “the best president of the 21st century” and vowed to pardon him if he were to be convicted of federal crimes. On the other hand, Nikki Haley was less forgiving, calling Trump the “most disliked politician in America.”