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Donald Trump joins TikTok after reversal on app he tried to ban as president

Trump says he opposes banning TikTok
Trump, in reversal, says he opposes banning TikTok 05:04

Washington — Former President Donald Trump has joined TikTok, posting for the first time Saturday on the widely popular video-sharing app controlled by a Chinese parent company that he once tried to ban in the U.S.

"It's my honor," Trump said in the video, which features Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Dana White, who declared that "the president is now on TikTok."

The video, which had garnered more than 2 million likes by Sunday afternoon, features clips from Trump's attendance at the UFC match in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday, where he was greeted by supporters after being convicted in the New York "hush money" trial on all 34 felony counts days earlier. 

By Sunday night, Trump had attracted 3 million TikTok followers, the Reuters news agency reported.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on June 01, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump attends UFC 302 at Prudential Center on June 01, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey. Luke Hales / Getty Images

While in office, Trump took issue with the social media app being controlled by a China-based parent company, trying unsuccessfully to ban the app in the U.S. with an executive order. Earlier this year, a renewed push against the app gained momentum in Congress, as lawmakers approved a foreign aid package that included a provision that required its sale within a year or a ban from U.S. app stores. 

But before Congress approved and President Biden signed the legislation that could lead to a ban on TikTok into law, Trump changed his tune. He argued that banning TikTok would benefit Facebook, which he called the "true Enemy of the People."

Trump's super PAC joined TikTok last month, despite his previous views. At the time, Taylor Budowich, the CEO of MAGA Inc., said in a post on X that "we will ensure President Trump's America First agenda is brought to every corner of the internet and every precinct of this country."

The development comes months after Mr. Biden's reelection campaign launched its own account on TikTok, despite his administration's support for the legislation that could lead to a ban. For both campaigns, the app presents an opportunity to reach young voters, who will be a key demographic in November's election.

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