With his online presence all but obliterated since leaving office in January, former U.S. President Donald Trump has permanently shut down the webpage blog that he started less than a month ago.
His blog, From the Desk of Donald J. Trump, has been scrapped from the webpage of the former U.S. leader, senior aide Jason Miller told CNBC on Wednesday.
Miller said the blog, on which Trump commented on U.S. political and social issues and foreign affairs, "will not be returning."
"It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on," Miller said, but he offered no timeline for any new Trump online site.
Trump once drew tens of millions of social media followers, with multiple pronouncements almost daily when he was president. He was a prolific poster on social media platforms, pillorying the Democratic political opposition, endorsing Republican candidates he liked and trashing those he didn't, and offering his commentary on the events of the day.
But both Facebook and Twitter banned him from posting on their sites. Their decisions came after he urged his supporters to "fight like hell" to confront lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as they were certifying the Electoral College outcome. Trump had lost the November election to Democrat Joe Biden, who was inaugurated as president two weeks later.
Trump and his political allies have long accused social media companies of being hostile to conservative viewpoints. Trump assailed Facebook as "a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our country" when an internal review panel recently upheld the ban against him, pending further review.
Trump's blog at first was billed as a new "communications platform." Trump aide Miller called the Desk page "a great resource" to find the former president's statements. But Miller also acknowledged it was "not a new social media platform."
Now it is apparent that Trump's efforts to reengage online with followers have fallen flat, with The Washington Post reporting that social engagement around Trump — online comments and reactions about him — has plunged 95% since January, to its lowest level since 2016, when he won the presidency.
Trump has never called Biden to formally concede the election and has continued to claim that voting irregularities cost him another four-year term in the White House. He says he is considering running for another term in the 2024 election but won't decide until after the 2022 congressional elections.
Since leaving office, he has lived at his coastal mansion in Florida and made just a handful of political appearances, although he is planning more in the coming weeks. He has granted interviews to some conservative-leaning media outlets, and several Republican lawmakers have traveled to Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate to visit with him and talk politics.
Meanwhile, reports surfaced this week that Trump has been telling some supporters that he expects to be reinstated as president by the end of August, as he encourages rogue reviews of the vote counts in key states where election authorities have long since ruled that Biden legitimately won. There is no legal mechanism in the U.S. by which Trump could reclaim the presidency while Biden is in office. Biden's term ends in January 2025.
But Trump maintains wide influence in Republican political circles, even if his online presence has all but disappeared.
In line with his wishes, a big majority of Republican lawmakers recently voted against creation of an independent congressional commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol in which hundreds of Trump supporters rampaged into the building, smashed windows, occupied both chambers of Congress and scuffled with police.
Five people were left dead, and more than 400 protesters were arrested and are awaiting adjudication on an array of criminal offenses.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved creation of the commission, but Democrats failed to overcome a Republican-led filibuster against the legislation in the Senate.