Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 3, 2024

Trump Embraces TikTok Despite Past Attempt to Ban It

The Associated Press reported that Donald Trump has joined TikTok two days after being found guilty on 34 felony charges related to his 2016 election campaign.

Despite his previous efforts to outlaw TikTok during his presidency, Trump launched his account with a video from a UFC event in Newark, New Jersey. The video depicted him waving to fans, posing for selfies, and concluding with the statement, "That was a good walk-on, right?"

The TikTok debut, which happened on Saturday night, quickly went viral. By Sunday morning, Trump's account boasted over 1.1 million followers, 1 million likes, and 24 million views. This surge in popularity underscores his ongoing influence and appeal among a broad audience, including younger demographics.

Trump’s Legal Troubles Continue

Trump’s entry into TikTok comes amidst serious legal complications. Just two days prior, Trump was found guilty of 34 felony charges related to falsifying business records tied to his 2016 campaign. He maintains his innocence and has vowed to appeal the decision, with sentencing anticipated for July 11.

A spokesman for Trump, Steven Cheung, explained that the TikTok presence is a strategic move to connect with a younger audience. "We will leave no front undefended, and this represents the continued outreach to a younger audience consuming pro-Trump and anti-Biden content," Cheung stated.

Adding to the intrigue is the backdrop of Democrat-led legislative efforts to ban TikTok if its parent company, ByteDance, does not divest it within 9 to 12 months. This legislative act, signed by President Joe Biden in April, reflects bipartisan concerns over the app's security risks tied to Chinese ownership.

Support and Criticism from Both Sides

Trump received an enthusiastic reception at the UFC event. Fans chanted "We love Trump!" while others directed critical remarks towards President Joe Biden. Cheung highlighted the strategic importance of the event, stating, "There’s no place better than a UFC event to launch President Trump’s TikTok, where he received a hero’s welcome and thousands of fans cheered him on."

Notably, as President, Trump tried to ban TikTok through an executive order citing national security concerns, but the courts blocked this move. Federal agencies such as the FBI and FCC have repeatedly warned about ByteDance's potential to share user data with the Chinese government.

Despite his past attempts to ban the app, Trump has acknowledged its popularity, particularly among younger users. "Frankly, there are a lot of people on TikTok that love it. There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it," Trump said in an interview with CNBC.

Political Dynamics and Future Implications

This development puts Trump and Biden on the same platform. Both are attempting to leverage TikTok for their political campaigns. The Biden campaign has also recognized the app’s significance, emphasizing its role in reaching voters across multiple digital platforms.

Melania Trump did not attend court during Trump's trial, a fact that added to the trial’s emotional toll. Trump mentioned the difficulty she faced, stating, “She’s fine. But I think it’s very hard for her. I mean, she’s fine. But, you know, she has to read all this crap.”

During a Fox News interview, Trump also discussed his legal pressures, where he expressed doubts about public tolerance for his potential criminal punishment. “I don’t know that the public would stand it, you know. I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” he remarked.

In conclusion, Donald Trump's TikTok debut marks a significant shift, especially given his earlier attempts to ban the app. His legal troubles continue as he awaits sentencing for felony charges related to his 2016 campaign. Meanwhile, both political camps strive to capture the attention of young voters on digital platforms, highlighting the ongoing strategic importance of social media in modern campaigns.

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About Ashton Snyder

Independent conservative news without a leftist agenda.
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