- Ex-president marks holy day with brief, abusive statement
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Donald Trump is reportedly working on a social media platform of his own, after being banned from Twitter and Facebook for inciting the Capitol riot.
He has also launched a new website, which presents a highly selective history of his single term in power and offers the chance to book appearances or personal greetings.
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But Trump has also said he may not need his new platform, because the short, often tweet-length statements he now propels into journalists’ inboxes from Mar-a-Lago in Florida communicate his views as effectively as any tweet ever could.
On Sunday the former president seemed to test the theory, mimicking world leaders including Pope Francis, if not echoing their sense of dignity and appeals for peace on a major religious holiday, by releasing a statement to mark Easter Sunday.
“Happy Easter to ALL,” Trump said, “including the Radical Left CRAZIES who rigged our Presidential Election, and want to destroy our Country!”
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The presidential election was not rigged, however often Trump repeats a lie repeatedly thrown out of court. Joe Biden beat him by more than 7m votes and by 306-232 in the electoral college.
But for Trump supporters, the statement may have carried a raucous echo of what were for them happier times, when he regularly tweeted diplomatic communiqués such as: “Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.”
Tellingly, Trump’s Easter statement did not set off the kind of explosions in the news media his tweets once did. Instead of prompting deadline scrambles and front-page headlines, it seemed to engender a sort of mild ennui.
“Jesus couldn’t have said it any better,” wrote Ken Vogel of the New York Times.
The writer Robert Schlesinger asked: “What is the phrase my religious friends use when in doubt? What would Jesus whine?”
David Frum, once a speechwriter for George W Bush, now a prominent Trump critic on the American right, called it “an Easter Sunday message of resentment and rage”.
“It’s an enduring good joke,” he added, “that Donald Trump has zero understanding of Christian faith – and that if he ever did understand it, he would 100% oppose and reject it.”
A few hours later, Trump tried again. This time, his statement simply said: “Happy Easter!”