Former U.S. president Donald Trump appears to have given up on his personal substitute for Twitter, as the blog that he launched last month has since been removed from his official website.
The blog, dubbed “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” served as a replacement for the former president’s Twitter megaphone, which he lost when he was banned from various platforms for encouraging the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump used his blog as a safe space to attack his enemies, promote his friends and push his falsehoods about the election without facing criticism or fact-checkers.
That safe space was permanently shut down on Wednesday, Trump aide Jason Miller told CNBC.
Miller said the blog “will not be returning,” though he did not explain why it was removed.
“It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on,” Miller said.
Trump previously flirted with the idea of launching his own social media platform for himself and his supporters, though it’s unclear if he plans to follow through on the idea.
“Hoping to have more information on the broader efforts soon, but I do not have a precise awareness of timing,” Miller told CNBC.
Trump was effectively de-platformed from most social media sites last January, after he told rioters that he “loved” them in the hours after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. Facebook’s independent Oversight Board recently extended the ban on Trump until at least November, and punted responsibility for reinstating him back to the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Twitter has said that Trump will not be allowed to return, even if he does run for president in 2024. The company has also been aggressive in keeping his blog posts off its platform, as it banned several accounts that automatically shared his statements in early May.
Trump boasted more than 88 million followers on Twitter before he was banned, but he failed to bring that audience with him to his blog, according to social media tracking data reported by the Washington Post.
The Post saw 159,000 reactions on Trump’s blog when it launched May 4, but that traffic quickly dropped to 30,000 interactions on Day 2 and 15,000 per day afterward. Trump’s posts were shared less than 2,000 times per day on Facebook, the Post reports.
Trump did not like being mocked for his blog’s low readership numbers, an adviser told the Washington Post.
The blog was scrubbed from his official website early Wednesday, and the old link now redirects visitors to a page where they can sign up for email alerts from his campaign.
His final posts on the blog were written on May 31, a cached version of the page shows. He published a tribute to America’s “fallen heroes” in honour of Memorial Day, pushed a conspiracy theory about election fraud in Georgia and then thanked supporters for staging a boat parade for him in Florida. He did not say anything about ending the blog before its demise.
Trump has continued to loom large in Republican politics, despite his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. He has also continued to push the falsehood that the election was stolen from him, despite failing to prove anything of the sort in more than 60 court battles.
Many Republicans have embraced Trump’s false narrative about the election, and the few who have not have been punished. Rep. Liz Cheney, for example, was removed from a leadership position in Congress after she condemned Trump’s election fraud claims as a “Big Lie.”
Trump frequently attacked Cheney on his blog, and tried to repurpose the term “Big Lie” to refer to the certified results of the election that he lost.
He has not committed to running for a second term in 2024, but he is slated to return to the political campaign trail this weekend with an appearance at the North Carolina Republican Party’s state convention on Saturday, followed by several more rallies over the summer.
Trump has not spoken at a rally since Jan. 6, when he encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” to overturn the election he lost.
Five people died in the attack.