NEW YORK (AP) – Former President Donald Trump has returned to X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, and fired his first message in two and a half years shortly after he surrendered in an Atlanta jail had because he conspired to cancel his own message election defeat.

He posted a photo of his mugshot and the words, “Election meddling. Never give up!” along with a link to his website, which leads to a donation page.

It was Trump’s first post since Jan. 8, 2021, when Twitter suspended his account indefinitely on the grounds that he was inciting further violence in the wake of the deadly storming of the US Capitol. His account was restored last November shortly after Elon Musk took over the company, but Trump had refrained from Twitter, insisting he was happier on his own website, Truth Social, which he launched during the ban.

The news marks a kind of homecoming for Trump to one of his most important megaphones – one with which he dominated his rivals in the 2016 primary and dominated the news cycle for years. Trump, who is running for the White House again in 2024, often marveled at how quickly his BREAKING NEWS-themed letters would get from his account to cable news networks.

Trump’s return to politics began in the second half of the year amid tight finances, as his bank account was drained by tens of millions of dollars used to protect the former president from mounting legal challenges as he seeks the White House once again.

The new post also came a day after Trump skipped the first Republican primary debate and instead taped an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired as counterprogram.

Trump has 86.5 million followers on the platform now known as X, dwarfing his rivals in the 2024 race.

But since Trump left, the platform has undergone significant changes, including Musk’s name change.

Trump returned to Facebook in March and posted, “I’M BACK!” weeks after his personal account was reactivated there.

But he’s staying with Truth Social, the Twitter doppelganger he launched after his suspension on Twitter and Facebook to post daily letters, announcements and reposts. This included using the platform to break news of his charges and proposed surrenders as he faced an ever-growing list of legal issues.

As part of his agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp. to publicize Truth Social, Trump had agreed — lest he would compete with his own company — that it would be the “first channel” for “all social media communications and …” would be posts drawn from his personal profile,” according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

This included an exclusivity clause in which the former president was “obligated in principle to make any social media post on Truth Social and not to make the same post on any other social media for six hours for a period of 18 months beginning December 22 – to author the site”. , 2021. This period ended in June.

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