Since leaving in January of last year, Donald Trump has remained relatively out of the spotlight. While he dominated every section of the news for four years, now his activities are primarily underground. Part of this is because he no longer has access to the two most prominent platforms that he used to spread his message. He no longer addresses the nation as president, and he has been banned from most social media platforms. That said, he hasn’t been lying around moping. In fact, he’s been working on many new projects in the last year in order to reach out to his supporters and has still been making his position clear on a number of political incidents.
One of Trump’s more unusual activities has been the development of his own social media platform, Truth Social. After being prohibited from Twitter and Instagram, Trump and his supporters made their intentions to find another way very clear. On February 21, he achieved this goal. Tech journal The Verge conducted a study on the app, testing its features and user interface. “The service appears to be closely modeled on Twitter, which was previously Trump’s preferred social media platform,” they wrote. The app seems to copy some of Twitter’s terms. For example, “Truth Social reportedly refers to individual posts as ‘Truths’ which are shown to users on a ‘Truth Feed,’” says The Verge, “If you see a ‘Truth’ that you want to share with your followers, you can apparently ‘ReTruth’ it.” While this may sound comical, it’s been a growing trend in recent years among conservative groups to develop their own websites where they are allowed to speak freely. In the summer of 2020, Reddit banned a large number of far-right subreddits from their platform. While many of these groups fled to other sites that claimed to support their right to free speech, a handful of larger groups built their own websites. The Trump-supporting subreddit r/The_Donald was among the larger, and has since developed their own site Patriots.win, which boasts thousands of users who visit daily.
Trump has also been weighing in on some of the more contemporary issues at CPAC, a huge annual conservative political conference that hosts big-name speakers. This year, Donald Trump was joined by other conservative figures such as Candace Owens in Orlando, FL. During the conference, Trump shared his thoughts on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of the less controversial bits was when he said that “The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling, an outrage and an atrocity that should have never been allowed to occur. We are praying for the proud people of Ukraine, God bless them all.” However, that wasn’t the only thing he said. Many articles have cited his claim that “The problem isn’t Putin is smart — which of course he is smart — it’s that our leaders are dumb,” as praise of Putin, showing his support for his former frenemy even after his presidency. However, this “praise” rings hollow preceding a condemnation of Putin’s actions. Rather than framing him as an intelligent, balanced leader, Trump is calling him cunning and vindictive, which is far less flattering. However, his far hotter take was in regards to the US response to this crisis. Trump harkened back to the Days of Yore with his claim that “Under our leadership, the world was a peaceful place because America was strong and the perception of our country was perhaps like it had never been before: powerful, cunning and smart,” he said. However, he soon expressed his disgust with the current regime. “We were a smart country. Now we are a stupid country.”