Donald Trump has made his debut on his Twitter rival Truth Social with a self-deprecating gag about one of his many controversial tweets.
The former president wrote: ‘I’M BACK! #COVFEFE’ in his inaugural post Thursday evening.
He accompanied the message with a photograph of himself looking at his phone on an immaculate green croquet lawn outside his Mar-a-Lago country club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
#COVEFE is a lighthearted reference to Trump’s 2017 tweet, where he criticized the media coverage of his administration. On May 30, 2017, the then-president wrote on Twitter – which he vowed not to rejoin, despite Elon Musk’s $44billion purchase – wrote: ‘Despite the constant negative press covfefe.’
The mishap received more than 100,000 likes and retweets each before it was deleted and sparked an internet frenzy.
Trump returned to social media by writing ‘I’M BACK #COVFEFE’ on his app Truth Social as he posted a picture of him looking dapper in a black suit as he stood on a croquet court outside his pink stucco Mar-A-Lago mansion
Now, after more than a year, Trump’s social media break has ended after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram last year in the wake of the January 6 riots.
He insists he won’t return to Twitter, even after it was bought by Elon Musk, who has vowed a far less censorious approach to content moderation, sparking rumors Trump could be allowed back.
‘I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,’ Trump told Fox News. ‘I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth,’ Trump said.
Representatives for Truth Social said the platform is ‘better than being on Twitter’ and will be a positive impact within the social media world, but does view it as competition with Twitter.
They hope to take the firm public as part of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) worth $3.5 billion, although many prospective users say they’ve struggled to sign up.
‘I think it is good. We want liberty and justice and fairness in our country, and the more we can have open, the better, but no, I don’t view that as a competition for what I am doing,’ he told Fox News.
‘This is a platform for my voice. TRUTH is a platform for my voice and for my supporters.’
He also criticized Twitter, before Musk’s takeover, for censoring Republicans and limiting the political conversations. He said ‘no interactions’ were happening and it became ‘boring because conservatives were thrown off or got off the platform when I left.’
It’s Trump’s first appearance on social media in over a year. The former president was frequently spotting spending his time playing golf since leaving the White House
‘It became boring because there was no interaction, the interaction on TRUTH has been amazing,’ he told Fox News. ‘Truth Social will be a voice for me. And that’s something nobody else can get.’
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Musk accused the social media giant of censoring free speech, took shots at its lawyer Vijaya Gadde and bashed Donald Trump’s rival service Truth Social for its ‘terrible name’.
‘Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech,’ Musk wrote in a tweet, adding, ‘Should be called Trumpet instead!’
He noted the Truth Social app is currently beating Twitter and TikTok in Apple’s App Store, sharing rankings of the most-downloaded free apps.
The tycoon had earlier issued a scathing tweet in response to reports Gadde, 48, had been crying at news of the deal.
He wrote: ‘Suspending the Twitter account of a major news organization for publishing a truthful story was obviously incredibly inappropriate.’
Musk was referring to the suspension of the New York Post’s account for its exclusive about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Initially dismissed as ‘misinformation’ by liberal outlets and social media networks, the laptop and its contents have since been verified by many of the same publications.
Meanwhile, Twitter employees are freaking out in internal chatrooms over Musk’s $44billion deal to acquire the firm, messages seen by the New York Post show.
‘We’re all going through the five stages of grief in cycles and everyone’s nerves are frazzled,’ one senior staff software engineer reportedly wrote on the company’s internal Slack channel.
The staffer called Musk an ‘a**hole,’ and tried to console his colleagues.
‘We’re all spinning our wheels, and coming up with worst-case scenarios (Trump returns! No more moderation!).
He said earlier this week that he would not rejoin Twitter, even if Elon Musk (pictured) – who purchased the app for $44billion – reinstated his account
‘The fact is that [Musk] has not talked about what he’s planning on doing in any detail outside of broad sweeping statements that could be easily seen as hyperbolic showboating,’ he added.
One site reliability engineer wrote that it was ‘physically cringy watching Elon talk about free speech.’
A senior staff video engineer announced his plans to quit, saying: ‘Not the place to say it perhaps, but I will not work for this company after the takeover.’
Musk perhaps did little to allay Twitter staffers fears as he posted several tweets critical of Gadde, Twitter’s chief legal officer.
She was one of the key executives in the decisions to ban Trump from the platform and censor reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop.