By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Former President Donald Trump is back on Twitter—now rebranded as X—posting a bold, defiant message after more than two years of inactivity on the platform.
The post on X at 9:39 p.m. ET shows President Trump in a booking photo at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, taken Thursday after he presented himself to authorities around 7:36 p.m. local time and underwent a 20-minute booking process, after which he was released.
The accompanying text to the social media post includes “MUG SHOT — AUGUST 24, 2023,” “ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” “NEVER SURRENDER!” and “DONALDJTRUMP.COM.”
The post received 200,100 likes and 7.1 million views after just 24 minutes. As of the time of this report, President Trump has 86.5 million followers on the Twitter/X platform.
Online records from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office showed President Trump was booked on 13 charges.
This comes after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Aug. 14 indicted him and 18 of his associates on various felony charges related to allegations that a strategy by several lawyers counseling President Trump to set up alternate groups of electors in multiple states in 2020, thereby postponing the electoral vote count, amounted to a criminal enterprise. Among the charges is a racketeering conspiracy stemming from attempts to challenge the official results of the 2020 election.
As part of his release conditions, President Trump agreed to not “act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codefendant or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.” This also applies to “posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media.”
He also agreed to “not communicate in any way, directly or indirectly, about the facts of this case with any person known to him to be a codefendant in this case except through his or her counsel.”
‘A Very Sad Day For America’
“I really believe this is a very sad day for America. This should never happen,” President Trump told reporters at the Atlanta International Airport upon his departure after he was released. “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.”
He added, “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 gonna have very dishonest elections. What has taken place here is a travesty of justice—we did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong—and everybody knows it. I’ve never had such support.”
The Fulton County case marks the fourth legal action against President Trump since March this year, when he became the first former president in the United States to be indicted.
President Trump was given a deadline of 12 p.m. on Aug. 25 to voluntarily turn himself in, preventing potential arrest.
“What has taken place here is a travesty of justice, we did nothing wrong, I did nothing wrong. And everybody knows it. I’ve never had such support. And that goes with the other ones too,” he told reporters, referring to the three other indictments he’s facing.
He faces 78 different charges in the other three criminal cases. He was first indicted in March with 34 counts of felony falsifying business records in New York.
Two federal indictments followed, one with 40 counts related to the alleged retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home, and another with four counts regarding alleged efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election.
President Trump has proclaimed his innocence in all the cases and has accused President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and his administration of targeting him for political reasons.
Up until now, President Trump has not posted on the Twitter/X platform even though its owner Elon Musk, who acquired the company in October 2022, said in November 2022 that the former president would be reinstated after previously being suspended.
President Trump had previously said that he would not rejoin the platform even if he were reinstated. He has been posting regularly on his own social media platform, Truth Social.
Previous Permanent Suspension
When Twitter was under previous ownership and CEO Jack Dorsey, it permanently suspended President Trump’s Twitter account on Jan. 8, 2021, saying that his posts were “in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy.”
It cited two of the then-president’s most recent posts as justification for its action.
The first post read, “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Subsequently, President Trump had posted, “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” This was the last Twitter post before President Trump’s account was removed from the platform.
Twitter said that the two posts had violated its “Glorification of Violence policy.” The policy aims to “prevent the glorification of violence that could inspire others to replicate violent acts.”
In Twitter’s justification for removing President Trump from its platform at the time, it said his statement about not attending the inauguration “is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim … that there would be an ‘orderly transition’ on January 20th.”
Twitter at the time also said President Trump’s statement “may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target, as he will not be attending.”
At the time, The Epoch Times reached out to Twitter asking whether it had any evidence that President Trump’s statements were directly linked to any violence. Twitter never responded, even after repeated requests for comment.