For the first time in more than two years, Donald Trump on Thursday returned to X, the website formerly known as Twitter — reemerging on the platform that played a major role in his political rise and presidency.
Trump’s return to the site, where he posted a photo of his mug shot, came on the same day that he surrendered to authorities in Georgia in the criminal case involving efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Linking to a fundraising site on X, Trump used the moment to raise money for his campaign. In addition to the mug shot, he wrote the words “ELECTION INTERFERENCE” and “NEVER SURRENDER!”
The post was published while Trump was mid-flight back from Atlanta to Newark, N.J.
Trump’s last post on X was on Jan. 8, 2021, when he posted “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” referring to then-President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
Trump was kicked off Twitter following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, robbing him of his central platform of communication. In the years leading up to his presidency and during his White House tenure, the former president used Twitter as a de-facto bulletin board — a place where he savaged rivals, announced policy and personnel decisions and ranted about media coverage.
But Trump’s participation on the site also played a role in the run-up to the Capitol siege, when he used Twitter to promote the rally that would ultimately precede the riot. “Be there,” he posted on the platform in December 2020. “Will be wild.”
Trump and his advisers have spent months weighing when — or whether — he should return to the platform. Since leaving the White House, Trump has been using Truth Social to post his missives, though the platform receives less attention than Twitter.
Trump has more than 86 million followers on Twitter, compared to over 6 million on Truth Social.
After purchasing Twitter last year, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s Twitter feed. But Trump downplayed the idea of rejoining the site and didn’t make any posts until Thursday night, when he published his mug shot.