A few months after Facebook and Twitter banned the former president for inciting an attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump started a blog so he could continue having a platform to spread his screeds online. It was called “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” — and, as of Wednesday, it has officially shuttered after less than a month since it was launched.
Trump spokesperson Jason Miller confirmed as such to CNBC on Wednesday, claiming that the blog was merely “auxiliary” to the former president’s goals. Miller declined to comment on what those goals are, though he did clarify to The Washington Post that Trump wanted the blog shuttered because it was unpopular and being mocked.
Before Trump was banned from social media, he had a large and wide audience online, where he often issued announcements and statements via his Twitter account. After he was removed from Twitter and Facebook following the January 6 attack, however, the former president was forced to become almost totally silent. Though he had vowed to stay vocal after he left office, Trump has pretty much vanished from the major platforms since January.
The blog, formerly at DonaldJTrump.com/desk and viewable on the Internet Archive, was supposed to be somewhat of a comeback. Miller said on Fox that the blog was “going to completely redefine the game and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does.”
“In a time of silence and lies, a beacon of freedom arises. A place to speak freely and safely. Straight from the desk of Donald J Trump,” read a promotional video on the blog. It was originally marketed as a new social media platform, but then, in true Trump style, Miller clarified that it wasn’t one.
The blogs were often short and written in a similar style to Trump’s social media posts. His last post was from Memorial Day in which he bragged about a pro-Trump boat parade held that day in Florida. The majority of the rest of the posts were focused on the 2020 election and furthering the lie about the election being stolen from him.
He also took time to spread disinformation about President Joe Biden. Last week, Trump implied in a blog post that the current high gas prices were because he was no longer in office, though, like most presidents, he had very little sway on the price of gas while he was in office.
Despite his attempts to continue perpetuating lies about the 2020 elections and his accomplishments as president, the blog was stunningly unpopular. Miller claimed the blog would be well trafficked because hordes of Trump supporters had left mainstream social media platforms like Twitter, but there’s no evidence that that has happened.
Meanwhile, without social media sharing tools or comment features on the blog, the posts got very little engagement online, according to analyses from multiple online analytics firms. The blog was most popular just after launch, according to The Washington Post. The three posts he wrote the day after launch got a total of 29,000 engagements on Facebook and Twitter — a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of likes and comments he used to get on his tweets.
News that Trump is shutting down his blog comes after weeks of desperate sounding email pitches begging people to sign up for it: pic.twitter.com/V4g0JYEn8H
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) June 2, 2021
Data shows that the blog’s popularity only decreased from there, averaging only a few hundred engagements a day. Meanwhile, in a week in mid-May, the entire campaign website that houses his blog only had 4 million views — a far cry from the “tens of millions of people” that Miller claimed in March would be visiting the website. It’s also a far cry from the 88 million Twitter followers Trump had before his account was shuttered.
Though the blog is dead, Trump may still be planning another comeback attempt. Miller said on Wednesday that the former president is planning to join a different social media platform. Only time will tell whether that or any of his other goals come to fruition.