President Donald Trump has returned to Twitter. Trump was banned from the platform on January 8, 2021, while he was the sitting President of the United States, for allegedly inciting violence, or having the potential to incite violence. Since then, Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought Twitter (which he now calls X, but which no one else calls X) and placed an emphasis on allowing free speech; he’s said that Trump was welcome to return any time he wanted. Trump has been posting exclusively (as far as I know) on Truth Social, another social media site created by Trump Media & Technology Group; his posts on Truth were often – well, always – shared on Twitter by his supporters via screenshots. Trump returned hours after he turned himself in to the Georgia authorities for his fourth (it’s four now, right?) indictment as he runs for the Republican nomination for the Presidential election in 2024. His first tweet was a picture of his mug shot, along with a link to a fundraising website:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2023
You don’t need me to talk about the politics or tell you how to feel about this; tap your Twitter app – the one that now looks like Charles Xavier designed it – and you’ll see everyone and his mother opining about Trump. But whatever your feelings, it’s quite a show. Things like #TrumpMugShot and Mr. president are trending. Trump has begun marketing his mug shot, which Razörfist highlighted:
Holy hell, that was fast!
The man knows how to market. pic.twitter.com/vOKAOt7tn5
— RazörFist (@RAZ0RFIST) August 25, 2023
As he always has, Trump’s presence on Twitter is eliciting the full spectrum of reactions. Some are angry, some are jubilant, and some, like Geeks + Gamers’ own Krista Novva, just want to have fun with it:
HERE IS THE MUGSHOT! pic.twitter.com/xMdADDvTiK
— BEEP (@kristanovva) August 25, 2023
Elon Musk himself is getting in on the event. Previously, although he welcomed Trump back to the platform and even reinstated his account, he hadn’t seemed like a big fan of Trump’s, and I imagine he probably still isn’t. But when it’s your platform, you don’t sit out the party:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 25, 2023
And Trump has been making use of Twitter, even if he has only now started posting again. Two days ago, as the other Republican candidates were participating in a debate, Trump sat down with Tucker Carlson – himself recently fired from Fox News – for an interview hosted on Twitter:
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
There are plenty of questions Trump’s return to Twitter raises. How often will he post? Will he ignore Truth Social? Which will be his primary outlet? Will he be more restrained than he’s previously been? (Okay, that one’s not a serious question.) We’ll find out over the next year and change, but what’s assured is, as it’s been for the past eight years, all eyes are on Donald Trump.