For many years, even before his entrance into politics, Donald Trump did not use email.
For someone as litigious as Donald Trump, he seemed to grasp relatively early on in the Internet era that anything he sent in an email could later be used against him in court.
Trump Loves to Text?
Even as he often sent tweets from his phone that got him in trouble as president, Trump continued to not use email. But now, a new report says that Trump is now using text messages.
The former president “has, at last, become a texter, according to three people with knowledge of his new habit. His messages have recently shown up in the phones of surprised recipients, they said,” the Times said. It appears that Trump has taken up the habit for the first time in his mid-70s.
While Trump’s lack of texts in the past has made things more difficult for investigators in the various criminal probes targeting him, he has gotten into the habit around the new year. Of the texts, per the Times piece by Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan, “most of them described as innocuous, such as new year greetings or political observations.” This followed years of friends of Trump texting him and the texts going unanswered.
In addition, Donald Trump has also frequently chided his lawyers and advisers for taking notes in meetings.
“People who have worked for Mr. Trump in the White House and in his private business say he has prided himself on being ‘smart’ for leaving almost no documentation of his communications and discussions in meetings,” the Times report said. “That included snatching notes being taken in real time by a junior legal associate in his offices in the 1990s, when Mr. Trump spotted the man scribbling, according to a consultant working for him then.”
The Times also said that Trump’s “phone now sends calls that are not from numbers in his contacts to voice mail, according to two people familiar with the change.”
Donald Trump Is Coming Back to Facebook
That’s not the only recent change involving what goes to and from Trump’s phone. Meta announced Wednesday that it is reinstating Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. They had been suspended following the January 6 riot, but that suspension was originally announced as lasting about two years.
“Our determination is that the risk has sufficiently receded and that we should therefore adhere to the two-year timeline we set out,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of Global Affairs, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “As such, we will be reinstating Mr. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts in the coming weeks. However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”
What are those guardrails?
“Like any other Facebook or Instagram user, Mr. Trump is subject to our Community Standards. In light of his violations, he now also faces heightened penalties for repeat offenses — penalties which will apply to other public figures whose accounts are reinstated from suspensions related to civil unrest under our updated protocol,” Clegg wrote. “In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation.”
Clegg, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the U.K. and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, joined Facebook in 2018 and was promoted to president for global affairs last year.
Trump, who is running for president in 2024, has not yet returned to posting on Facebook and it’s not clear when he might. Donald Trump had his Twitter account restored last fall, although he has not yet returned to that platform either, instead posting to his Truth Social platform. NBC News reported last week that Trump is preparing to come back to those platforms.
“Trump is probably coming back to Twitter. It’s just a question of how and when,” one Republican told NBC News. “He’s been talking about it for weeks, but Trump speaks for Trump, so it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do or say or when.”
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.