early and often

Donald Trump’s Sad Return to Truth Social

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Elon Musk has been doing his best to fill the Donald Trump–shaped hole on Twitter. Since striking a deal to buy the site for $44 billion on Monday, Musk has served up nearly two dozen tweets that are a Trumpy cocktail of obnoxious, mean, stupid, scary, and (on rare occasions) funny. Here’s a sample:

However, no one could ever truly replicate the former president’s chaotic and often dangerous social-media energy, and Trump’s banking on that fact to save his ailing Twitter competitor, Truth Social. Just before the glitchy site officially launched on February 21, Trump posted a “truth” that read in part, “see you soon!” He didn’t “truth” a single thing for the next two months, and he even bungled the name of the site at a recent rally, calling it “Truth Central.” But when Musk’s impending purchase of Twitter sparked speculation that Trump might be allowed back on the site, he quickly shot down the rumors. On Monday, Trump told Fox News, “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth.”

“Truth Social will be a voice for me,” Trump added, when asked if he was worried about the competition. “And that’s something nobody else can get.”

Trump pledged to start “truthing” in earnest within the next week. He kept his word, posting this late on Thursday night:

It case it is not clear, that’s supposed to be a shot of Trump “truthing” while standing in the middle of the oversaturated lawn at Mar-a-Lago (though obviously he’s not actually posting anything on Truth Social in this photo, since it’s embedded in the only “truth” he has uploaded this week). And of course, “#COVFEFE” is meant to be funny because Trump inexplicably tweeted the word in 2017. Overall, it’s a pale imitation of the horrific yet compelling social content that fueled Trump’s meteoric political rise.

Trump’s return to social media is quite difficult to share with friends who may be Truth-curious. Though “truths” feature a share button, they can only be viewed within the iPhone app; Truth Social still isn’t available to Android users or on desktop. If you attempt to forward the message via email or text you get a 404 error message, which doesn’t even prompt the recipient to set up a Truth Social account.

For now, anyone who wants to sample this mediocre Trump content without committing to Truth Social will have to resort to the same method Trump is using to keep up with Twitter these days. As the Washington Post reported earlier this week, “Though Trump has publicly panned Twitter as boring and irrelevant, he still looks at the site often, mostly via printouts of tweets from politicians and journalists handed to him by his aides.”

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Donald Trump’s Sad Return to Truth Social