Former U.S. President Donald Trump returned to social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday with a post showing a photo of him booked into the Fulton County Jail in Georgia earlier in the day. In the post, Trump called for donations and banned him from engaging directly with the public on the platform after his supporters attacked Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. On Nov. 19, the San Francisco-based app reversed its position under billionaire Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” on Oct. 2. acquired Twitter.

Trump, who had more than 88 million followers when Twitter banned him, posted a mugshot on Thursday with the words: “Election Interference! Never Surrender!” The post had more than 50 minutes of views 14 million.

Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account in January 2021, citing the risk of further incitement to violence following the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

He used Twitter and other social media platforms to claim that his defeat in the 2020 election was due to widespread voter fraud and shared other conspiracy theories.

On November 15, Trump launched a campaign to re-enter the White House in 2024.

Trump opted out of the Republican primary debate on Fox News on Wednesday, drawing millions of viewers to watch (or at least browse through) interviews with Channel X’s rivals.

The 46-minute conversation with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson had attracted nearly 250 million views as of Thursday night, according to the site.

On Thursday night, Trump broke a vow that he would use only his new platform, Truth Social, an app developed by his Trump Media Technology Group (TMTG) startup. As of Thursday, Trump had 6.4 million followers on Truth Social.

Truth Social has been a major source of direct communication between Trump and his followers since he began posting regularly on the app in May. The former president has used the truth society to promote his allies, criticize his opponents and defend his reputation amid legal scrutiny from state, congressional and federal investigators.

A year ago, TMTG announced it would go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC). The deal, which will inject $1.3 billion (Rs 107.44 billion) in cash into TMTG, is currently being delayed due to doubts over investigations by the Justice Department and the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Trump’s company faces a critical deadline, as DWAC shareholders have until 10 a.m. (local time) on Sept. 5 to vote an extension for DWAC to complete its merger with TMTG. If the DWAC does not receive a vote, the SPAC will be liquidated on September 8th.

Trump sued Twitter in 2021, accusing it of being suspended from the platform, saying the move violated his First Amendment right to free speech.

A U.S. judge in California threw out the case, and a federal appeals court in Pasadena, Calif., is scheduled to hear the case on Oct. 4. Trump’s lawyers said his claim was still viable and could be decided by an appeals court. Although he restored the platform.

Hours after Trump posted on X, Elon Musk reacted to his return to the platform. On his X account, Musk retweeted Trump’s post and said: “Next level.”

In his X post, Trump also shared a link to his website, along with a photo of him, hours after Fulton County, Georgia, surrendered the election subversion case.

Trump’s last tweet was on January 8, 2021, when he stated that he would not attend the inauguration of then US President-elect Joe Biden. “To all who ask, I will not be attending the inauguration on January 20,” Trump said in a tweet on January 8, 2021.

While Musk has reinstated the former U.S. president’s account, Trump had not posted on the platform until Thursday.

In the latest developments in the Georgia election subversion case, Trump turned himself in at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, but he was later released on bail, according to prison records, CNN reported.

Prison records show that the former U.S. president was arrested and booked at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday night (US local time) on suspicion of subversion of the Georgia state election. He spent about 20 minutes in jail.

According to CNN, after being arrested and released from prison, Trump told reporters, “I didn’t do anything wrong.” He described the criminal case against him as “a mockery of justice”.

“We have every right to challenge what we believe to be a dishonest election,” he said.

Trump also touched on other pending criminal cases against him, saying: “That’s one example, but there are three others. It’s election interference.”

Trump was released after agreeing to post $200,000 (Rs 1.652 lakh) bail and other release conditions, including not using social media to intimidate co-defendants or witnesses in the case, which had been negotiated by his lawyers .

Fulton County is the first case in which Trump was ordered to pay cash bail. When Trump was charged in Georgia, he was already facing three other felony indictments.

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