Donald Trump Joins TikTok After Previously Seeking to Ban the Social Media Platform

The former president issued an executive order attempting to ban the app out of concern for national security in 2020

<p>Sean Rayford/Getty </p> Donald Trump joined TikTok on June 1, 2024

Sean Rayford/Getty

Donald Trump joined TikTok on June 1, 2024

Donald Trump has joined TikTok.

On Saturday, June 1 — just two days after a jury delivered a guilty verdict in his historic criminal trial — the former president, 77, shared his first post on the video-sharing platform, which he previously attempted to ban in the United States while he was in office.

The 13-second montage clip shows the politician stating that joining the app is an "honor" while attending the mixed martial arts event UFC 302.

His account on the platform refers to him as “President Donald J. Trump."

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Trump previously attempted to ban TikTok in the U.S. out of concern for national security in 2020.

At the time, he issued an executive order that would effectively ban the app, which is owned by Beijing tech company ByteDance Ltd., from operating in the U.S. if it was not sold to an American company within a 45-day window.

<p>Kevin Dietsch/Getty, Angela Weiss-Pool/Getty</p> Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Kevin Dietsch/Getty, Angela Weiss-Pool/Getty

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

TikTok responded with an official statement, saying, "We are shocked by the recent executive order, which was issued without any due process,” per Fox Business.

"For nearly a year, we have sought to engage with the U.S. government in good faith to provide a constructive solution to the concerns that have been expressed,” the statement continued. “The Administration paid no attention to facts, dictated terms of an agreement without going through standard legal processes, and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

That attempt was ultimately blocked by a federal judge, and after President Joe Biden took office, his administration pressed pause on Trump’s vendetta against the app.

But, later in his presidency, Biden, 81, ultimately moved to ban the platform, signing new legislation into law that will ban TikTok in the U.S. — unless, as with Trump’s executive order, it quickly finds new owners.

Related: Donald Trump Is Banned from 37 Countries as Convicted Felon, Including Major Allies Like Canada and U.K.

The legislation was introduced in April 2024 as part of a $95 billion foreign aid package meant to support Israel and Ukraine, and was overwhelmingly approved by both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Under the law, ByteDance has 270 days to sell the app, or it will be wiped from Apple and Google app stores in the U.S. — a time frame critics have noted may not be feasible for such a monumental sale.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew
Chip Somodevilla/Getty TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew

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Responding to the new legislation, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said he plans to fight it, telling users that the app isn't "going anywhere.”

“Make no mistake, this is a ban, a ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice,” Chew said in an April 24 TikTok. “Politicians may say otherwise. But don’t get confused. Many who sponsored the bill admit a TikTok ban is their ultimate goal."

"It's obviously a disappointing moment," the CEO added. “But it does not need to be a defining one.”

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The potential ban comes amid growing security concerns that China could use the app to surveil American citizens and access their data without their knowledge — a concern TikTok has previously denied.

The platform has said that information on the app would not be shared with the Chinese government, while the Chinese foreign ministry has argued that the U.S. has “never found any evidence” that TikTok poses a threat to its national security, Reuters reported.

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