Former President Donald Trump has returned to X — the social media platform formerly known as Twitter — for the first time since January 2021, when his account was suspended over fears that he would incite violence following Jan. 6.
Trump’s Twitter account was unsuspended by Elon Musk last November after he took control over the company.
The former president’s return to X came shortly after he surrendered at Fulton County Jail on charges brought by District Attorney Fani Willis alleging that he used a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.
Trump posted his mug shot to X Thursday night after paying a $200,000 bond and leaving the Atlanta jail to board his private jet back to his summer home in New Jersey, alongside the statement “Election interference. Never Surrender!” and a link to his campaign site.
Trump gave a brief statement Thursday evening to reporters at the airport before boarding his plane to Bedminster, New Jersey:
I really believe this is a very sad day for America, this should never happen. If you challenge an election — you should be able to challenge an election. I thought the election was a rigged election, a stolen election, and I should have every right to do that.
As you know, you have many people that you’ve been watching over the years do the same thing — whether it’s Hillary Clinton, or Stacey Abrams, or many others. When you have that great freedom to challenge, you have to be able to, otherwise you’re going to have very dishonest elections.
What has taken place here is a travesty of justice. We did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong, and every knows it. I’ve never had such support, and that goes with the other ones too. What they’re doing is election interference. They’re trying to interfere with an election. There’s never been anything like it in our country before.
This is their way of campaigning — and this is one instance, but you have three other instances — it’s election interference.former President Donald Trump
The Trump campaign has capitalized on the mug shot, and is now selling merchandise with the photo and the “Never Surrender!” slogan on their campaign website.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., launched his own line of Trump mug shot merchandise Thursday, pledging that all proceeds would go toward his father’s legal defense fund.
It is unclear whether Trump’s return to X is a one-off, or if he will continue to post on the social media site, where he has 86.8 million followers, more than double President Joe Biden.
In a Thursday night post to his own social media platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote “I LOVE TRUTH SOCIAL. IT IS MY HOME!!!”
Trump’s contract with Digital World Acquisition Corp. that allowed Truth Social to be taken public had an exclusivity clause, which stated that he would be “generally obligated to make any social media post on Truth Social and may not make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours” for a period of 18 months, beginning on Dec. 22, 2021.
That year-and-a-half period expired in June.