Trump posts first tweet since 2021 Twitter ban

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Donald Trump, the Republican presidential leader, has returned to X (previously Twitter) after a lengthy absence, writing his first message in more than two years late Thursday night.

The former US president tweeted his mugshot from Fulton County, Georgia, where he had surrendered earlier that day on election meddling charges, with the text “Election interference / Never surrender!” in all caps and a link to his website.

According to an SEC filing from last year, Trump has been posting exclusively on his own social media platform, Truth Social, which is almost entirely populated by fans and supporters of the former president and with which he has an agreement to provide exclusive content for at least a six-hour window before posting to any other platform.

In January, it was rumored that Trump was seeking for a way out of his exclusivity agreement with his own platform in order to return to what was still known as Twitter. The contract was due to be renewed in June. His “mugshot” uploads on both platforms were only around an hour apart, indicating that the six-hour exclusivity limit has expired.

Previous posts in Trump’s X account history expire on January 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol riot that resulted in a nearly two-year suspension from the platform. While Elon Musk’s account was reactivated shortly after purchasing the site last year, Trump did not return as predicted, despite his frequent tweets being a trademark of his presidency.

Trump is far more active on Truth Social, where he spent Thursday night retweeting followers’ well-wishes and memes, polls indicating his domination of the Republican field, and videos criticizing the many legal challenges to his campaign.

He also took care to tell his platform followers that he was not leaving just because he had resumed posting on X, saying in all uppercase, “I adore Truth Social. It’s my house!!!”

Despite skipping Fox News’ primary debate this week to meet with its former top-rated anchor Tucker Carlson, Trump leads the Republican field by double digits. According to a CBS poll from last week, which he shared on Truth Social on Thursday, he is 46 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Trump sued Twitter, along with Meta and Google, in July 2021, after being barred from practically all social media platforms following the Capitol incident.