CV NEWS FEED // Former President Donald Trump made his much-anticipated return to X (formerly known as Twitter) Thursday night just hours after he was arrested in Georgia and exactly a day following the first Republican debate, where he was notably absent.
Trump’s post consisted of his Fulton County mugshot and a link to the fundraising page of his campaign website with the words “ELECTION INTERFERENCE” and “NEVER SURRENDER!”
In just 18 hours, Trump’s post garnered over 1.3 million “likes” and over 300,000 shares. It was viewed a staggering 173 million times in the same time span.
As X chairman and owner Elon Musk observed, these numbers average to just under 10 million views per hour.
The post was Trump’s first since Musk reinstated his account last November, ending a nearly two-year ban from the platform. Trump was allowed to return days after he launched his bid for the presidency. Trump’s year-and-a-half exclusivity deal with Truth Social expired in June.
As The Daily Wire reported,
Trump turned himself in to be arrested in Fulton County, Georgia, Thursday evening on multiple felony charges stemming from his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Trump agreed earlier this week to a $200,000 bond and other release conditions with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office. His mugshot was released by the Trump team hours later.
CNBC noted that while “Trump is facing charges in four separate criminal cases,” Thursday marked “the first time he had a mugshot taken.” He is “facing 13 separate counts in Georgia, including a racketeering charge and several fraud and false statement counts.”
Trump was one of 19 defendants booked at Fulton County jail Thursday night. Some of his notable co-defendants include several members of his post-election legal team: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis; and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
“Today, at the notoriously violent jail in Fulton County, Georgia, I was ARRESTED despite having committed NO CRIME,” the 45th president wrote on the campaign page to which his X post linked.
“The American people know what’s going on. What has taken place is a travesty of justice and ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” Trump added.
Twenty-four hours before Trump posted his mugshot on X, eight of his Republican primary opponents took the stage in Milwaukee, WI for the first debate of this election cycle. Trump decided to not attend the debate after refusing to sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, a new requirement for qualification.
Instead, Trump took part in a pre-recorded one-on-one interview with Tucker Carlson which aired on X during the debate.
Observers have been split on who won the debate.
Analysis by polling website FiveThirtyEight said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the best performance, with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy close behind. The worst performers were former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, FiveThirtyEight reported.
FiveThirtyEight also asked likely Republican primary voters who watched the debate for their opinion. A plurality of 29% of respondents said that DeSantis, who has consistently been polling second to Trump, performed the best.
Twenty-six percent said Ramaswamy won the debate. Many recent national polls have Ramaswamy in third place behind Trump and DeSantis.
The candidate a plurality of respondents said did the worst was Christie, with 22% indicating he turned in the poorest performance. Hutchinson came in second with 14% saying he was the worst.
In addition, FiveThirtyEight looked at the candidates’ favorability ratings among Republican voters who watched the debate.
The candidates whose net favorability rating among the sample changed the most from before to after the debate were Haley and Christie, who saw their rating increase 13 points in a positive direction. Notably, both former governors aggressively challenged Ramaswamy, a political neophyte, on the debate floor.
Pence’s rating improved by seven points while DeSantis’ improved by six. The other major candidates took hits in their net favorability with Ramaswamy losing the most in a nine-point decrease.
FiveThirtyEight included Trump in the study, despite his not being in attendance at the debate. His net favorability rating fell by seven points from before to after the debate.
The poll also showed that of the candidates, DeSantis has the highest post-debate net favorability score (+47) with Republicans who watched the debate, followed by Sen. Tim Scott (+42), Haley (+39), Ramaswamy (+28), and then Trump (+24).