Trump joins TikTok years after trying to ban the app

Former President Donald Trump announced Saturday night that he joined TikTok, even as many in his party criticize the popular app and call for its China-based parent company to divest.

Trump’s first post on the platform was a 13-second video, which appeared to be filmed at the UFC event in New Jersey he attended on Saturday. In the first shot, Trump is joined by UFC President Dana White, who announces, “The president is now on TikTok.”

“It’s my honor,” Trump responds as the TikTok cuts to a montage of the former president greeting fans at the arena.

“That was a good walk on, right?” Trump says in the closing moments of the clip.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Saturday’s move is a far cry from Trump’s position just a few years ago, when he issued an executive order that would have banned TikTok in the U.S. The order was halted in court.

“The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security,” said the executive order signed by Trump in 2020.

In March, Trump reversed course and opposed a ban on TikTok, saying that banning TikTok would improve business for competing social media apps he’s previously criticized, such as Facebook.

At the same time, many Republicans still firmly oppose TikTok, and Trump did say he viewed the app as a national security threat even after he came out against a ban.

President Joe Biden in April signed a bill into law that would ban TikTok, though not immediately. The legislation started the nine-month clock for ByteDance to sell the app or face a TikTok ban in the U.S.

At the same time, Biden’s campaign has a TikTok account and regularly posts content, and it will likely continue to do so since the possible ban would not go into effect until after the election.

Trump’s move to join TikTok comes just weeks after the super PAC backing him, Make America Great Again Inc., hopped on the app.

Even prior to Trump joining TikTok, the app had seen almost twice as many pro-Trump posts as pro-Biden posts since November, the New York Times has reported last month, citing the app’s internal analysis.

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