Former US President Donald Trump has returned to social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, two years after he was barred from doing so following his followers’ Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress.
Trump shared a video that appeared to be from one of his previous election speeches on Friday, March 17.
His return to the platforms gives him access to key political fundraising vehicles, allowing him to reach a total of 146 million followers across three major tech platforms if he runs for president again in 2024.
“I apologize for keeping you waiting. “Complicated business,” Trump said in the video, which was captioned “I’M BACK.”
Trump’s YouTube channel was restored earlier on Friday.
“We carefully evaluated the continued risk of real-world violence, while balancing voters’ ability to hear equally from major national candidates in the run-up to an election,” YouTube said in a tweet, referring to its decision to restore his account.
Meta Platforms Inc (META.O), Facebook’s owners, restored Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts earlier this year, while Elon Musk, the platform’s new owner, restored his Twitter account in November. Trump has yet to make a tweet on Twitter.
Trump’s return to YouTube and Facebook comes as the Manhattan District Attorney’s office considers criminal charges related to hush-money payments made to a porn star during Trump’s 2016 campaign, charges that Trump and his allies argue are politically motivated despite a lack of evidence.
Trump is also facing a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit filed by the state of New York, which alleges a decade-long scheme to manipulate over 200 asset valuations and Trump’s net worth in order to obtain better terms from banks and insurers.