Trump Returns to Musk’s X With Post of Georgia Mug Shot

Former President Donald Trump posted his own mug shot in a return to Elon Musk’s X, which was formerly known as Twitter.

(Bloomberg) — Former President Donald Trump posted his own mug shot in a return to Elon Musk’s X, which was formerly known as Twitter. 

In his first post since 2021, Trump displayed the mug shot taken at the Fulton County Jail, along with the words “ELECTION INTERFERENCE NEVER SURRENDER!” and a link to a political fundraising page.

Trump regularly used Twitter to boost his message and win the White House in 2016, sometimes tweeting dozens of times a day, at all hours, to communicate directly with his tens of millions of followers, guide the GOP agenda and news coverage, and attack his political enemies. 

His account was shut down in 2021 after the company deemed some posts encouraged his supporters to storm the US Capitol in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Musk, who purchased Twitter, reinstated Trump’s account in November 2022.

But Trump, who is now the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, had not resumed use of his account after it was restored, opting instead to use his own social-media platform, Truth Social. Trump had said he wouldn’t rejoin the site known as X, and would stay with Truth Social. Few analysts expected Trump could resist the lure of Musk’s platform, where he has over 86 million followers compared with 6.38 million on Truth Social. 

Trump on Wednesday night skipped the first Republican presidential debate, instead sitting down for a prerecorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that streamed on X.

The former president in March had returned to Meta Platforms Inc.’s social-media platform Facebook for the first time since 2021, writing “I’M BACK!,” and sharing a 12-second video clip from his 2016 election night victory speech. 

Earlier: Trump Posts on Facebook for First Time Since Ban in 2021

Trump’s renewed presence on X also comes at a perilous time for the platform, which has worried advertisers with changes to its content moderation policies.

The former president’s top rival for the Republican nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, used the platform in April to launch his 2024 White House bid, streaming a discussion with Musk. But that announcement was marred by technical difficulties and freezing audio before going ahead 30 minutes behind schedule.

Trump’s return to X also puts focus on Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company that’s been waiting to take over Trump Media & Technology Group for nearly two years. As it stands, the SPAC must complete a deal by Sept. 8 or risk returning its roughly $300 million to investors. The main asset of Trump Media & Technology Group is Truth Social, the social media network Trump has primarily posted on over the last two years.

The former US President said in a post on Truth Social that the platform “IS MY HOME!!!”. His comment came late Thursday evening Washington time, hours after he returned to Musk’s X.

–With assistance from Abhishek Vishnoi and Derek Wallbank.

(Updates with context on Digital World Acquisition in the last two paragraphs.)

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