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Former President Donald Trump returned to the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, with a post on Thursday showing his mug shot from his booking at Fulton County Jail in Georgia earlier in the day.
With his post, an appeal for donations, Trump reclaimed direct access to the public on the platform that banned him following the January 6, 2021, attack on Congress by his supporters.
On November 19, the San Francisco-based app reversed its position under billionaire Elon Musk, the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” who bought Twitter on October 2.
Trump, who had over 88 million followers when Twitter banned him, posted a photo on Thursday of the mug shot 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 US 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 November 15, Trump launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024.
On Wednesday, Trump opted out of a Republican primary debate on Fox News, 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 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, criticize his opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators. – Rappler.com