Trump joins TikTok, the app he once tried to ban as president

Trump joins the Biden campaign on TikTok, even as many Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress oppose it due to the app's ties to China

Former President Trump has joined TikTok, the embattled Chinese-owned social media platform that he once tried to ban during his years in the White House.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee's first post on TikTok was a launch video on Saturday night on a verified account – @realDonaldTrump – showing him waving to fans at an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight in Newark, New Jersey, that he attended a couple of hours earlier. 

"The president is now on TikTok," UFC CEO and Trump friend Dana White said as he introduced the former president in the video.

"It’s my honor," Trump responded in the video. The song "American Bad A--" by Kid Rock can be heard in the background.


Donald Trump and Dana White

Former President Trump smiles at Dana White while attending the UFC 302 mixed martial arts event Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Newark, New Jersey. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The move appears to be an effort to connect with younger voters who frequent the app, as Trump faces off with President Biden in the 2024 election rematch. The main super PAC supporting Trump, MAGA Inc., joined TikTok a couple of weeks ago. The site has roughly 170 million users in the U.S.


The app appears to be friendly ground for the former president, with roughly twice as many pro-Trump posts compared to pro-Biden posts on the site, according to recent reports from the New York Times and Puck, which cited internal analysis from TikTok.

Biden's 2024 re-election campaign joined TikTok in February, but the president signed a law in April forcing TikTok's Chinese owner to sell the app within a year or face a ban in the U.S.

Donald Trump waves to the crowd

Donald Trump waves to the crowd at the UFC 302 event at Prudential Center on June 1, 2024 in Newark. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Trump, in 2020 during his last year as president, tried to ban the app in the U.S. market over national security concerns. His executive order was eventually blocked in federal court.

Trump changed his mind this year, and came out in opposition to Biden's potential ban on TikTok.

Some former top Trump advisers – including former senior adviser Kellyanne Conway and David Urban – have been speaking out in favor of TikTok on Capitol Hill.

Regardless, many Republicans continue to criticize the popular app and urge its Chinese-based parent company to divest.

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