Donald Trump has made his return to X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.
On Thursday, the former president turned himself in at the Fulton County jail on over a dozen charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results. Over the last five months, Trump has faced criminal charges in four separate cases, but the most recent booking was the first and only time his mugshot was taken. He took the opportunity to make his first post on X since January 8th, 2021.
That was the day he was permanently banned from the platform by its former management, with the company citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” after his supporters stormed the US capitol.
Since then, Trump has started his own social media platform, Truth Social, and Twitter has rebranded after Elon Musk purchased the company, stating that he plans to turn it into an “everything app” called X.
In January of this year, Rolling Stone reported that Trump didn’t want to renew his exclusivity contract with Truth Social that was set to expire in June. Even still, he first posted the image of his mug shot on Truth Social earlier Thursday evening. Before that, he appeared in a video interview with Tucker Carlson on X that was timed to the first GOP 2024 presidential debate. (The former Fox News host took his show to the platform in May after leaving the network.)
On November 18th, 2022, Musk ran a poll asking Twitter users if he should reinstate Trump. The next day, he declared that he would do so based on the poll’s results. (There were around 15 million responses, with 51.8 percent saying yes and 48.2 percent saying no.) The former president implied there was no need for him to come back at the time because of how well Truth Social was doing and because he sees “a lot of problems on Twitter,” according to Bloomberg. He did, however, tell his supporters to vote yes in the poll.
Before reinstating Trump’s account last year, Musk also brought back the accounts belonging to the conservative parody outlet The Babylon Bee, comedian Kathy Griffin, and author Jordan Peterson.
Trump was first indicted in April for alleged hush money payments he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. After leaving the Manhattan courthouse where he was arrested at the time, Trump’s 2024 campaign released a t-shirt featuring a fake mugshot, since a real one was not taken. Hours after the Fulton County jail released his real mugshot Thursday, the campaign quickly pulled together an official t-shirt design with the caption “NEVER SURRENDER!”