When Donald Trump posted “I’M BACK!” on Facebook on Friday afternoon, along with a surreal-in-hindsight video of him bloviating while standing next to Mike Pence of all people, it was supposed to signal… something, we suppose. When Trump then told the media that he was about to start posting on Twitter again as well, that was also supposed to be part of this… whatever it is. Show of force, one supposes. After all, he just declared that he’s back!
Except he’s not. After being suspended from both Facebook and Twitter post-January 6th, Donald Trump was reinstated a long time ago. The Twitter announcement was made four months ago, and the Facebook announcement was made more than a month ago. Even though Trump has been portraying himself as a “2024 presidential candidate” all this time, he waited until this weekend to resume using them.
It’s pretty obvious that Trump is trying to time his “return” to Twitter and Facebook to coincide with his criminal indictment, in the hope of triggering a major fundraising haul this weekend so he can pay for his criminal defense team. Who cares? He’ll get convicted anyway. But let’s talk about what Trump’s return to social media doesn’t mean.
If Trump were in any way a serious 2024 presidential candidate, he’d have jumped on the opportunity to resume using his Twitter and Facebook accounts the minute he got them back, in the hope of making his fledgling “campaign” relevant. Instead he did nothing with these accounts for months, and waited for his indictment so he could make a big fundraising splash. On Friday he posted four fundraising posts to his Truth Social page in the span of about an hour, which tells you how he intends to use his Twitter and Facebook pages in the coming days.
Trump’s remaining supporters may be spurred by this stunt into sending him a donation this weekend just to spite the rule of law. But if Trump were a serious candidate, he’d have been trying to reach far more than just his base in the months since he launched his “campaign.”
Keep in mind that sooner or later the judge will hit him with a gag order keeping him from discussing anything about this criminal case. That could happen as soon as arraignment. And then Trump won’t be able to say anything about Alvin Bragg, or spin conspiracy theories about the indictment, without risking getting his bail revoked.
So this weekend is Trump’s one big shot at using his indictment to raise money on social media before he starts running the risk of getting hamstrung by a gag order. And all this “billionaire” did with that window of opportunity? Beg for money to pay for the criminal defense attorneys he’ll need heading into trial. Yawn.
Donald Trump isn’t “back.” He’s just doing that thing he so often does, where he tepidly waits far too long to finally pull the trigger on something, and upon realizing he’s waited too long, tries to overcompensate once it’s too late to matter. If Trump had resumed tweeting when he was reinstated last year, in an effort to convince the general public that he’s actually a candidate, that would have been one thing. Only resuming tweeting in order to whine about being criminally charged is just… sad.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report