Donald Trump refers to himself as '45th and 47th president'
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The app was available to download in the US shortly before 5am UK time and was automatically downloaded to Apple Inc devices belonging to users who had pre-ordered. Some users say they are either having trouble registering for an account or were added to a waiting list with a message: “Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist.”
Mr Trump was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters on January 6 2021. The former president was accused of posting messages inciting violence.
Led by former Republican US Representative Devin Nunes, Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), which is behind Truth Social, joins a growing portfolio of tech companies positioning themselves as free speech champions.
They hope to draw users who feel their views are suppressed on more established platforms.
Mr Nunes told Fox News on Sunday: “This week we will begin to roll out on the Apple App Store.
“That’s going to be awesome because we’re going to get so many more people that are going to be on the platform.
“Our goal is – I think we’re going to hit it – I think by the end of March we’re going to be fully operational at least within the United States.”
Republicans in the House and Senate have been promoting the app with representatives Paul Gosar, Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene both tweeting they would join the platform.
However, one Twitter user fumed: “Is anyone having to wait to get on Truth Social? My account has been created but I can’t get on.”
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A second commented: “I’m still waiting on my email verification link from Truth social. I guess there’s a lot of people trying to get on. Hope its worth the wait.”
Another cheered: “Currently waiting to be a part of the best social media platform of all time!”
And a fourth Twitter user said: “Bye bye Twitter #TruthSocial.”
Truth Social’s launch comes after Mr Trump lost a bid to dismiss lawsuits accusing him of inciting the US Capitol attack.
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Judge Amit Mehta of the US District Court for the District of Columbia said three lawsuits by Democratic members of Congress and two police officers could proceed toward trial.
He agreed to dismiss Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump Jr., who were named as co-defendants, from the lawsuits.
A Supreme Court case from 1982 maintaining that presidents are shielded, or immune, from lawsuits over their official acts looms large in the litigation.
Judge Mehta ruled Mr Trump was not immune from the lawsuits, determining that the then-president’s fiery speech before the Capitol attack was not within the scope of his official presidential duties.
He ruled: “To deny a President immunity from civil damages is no small step. The court well understands the gravity of its decision.
“But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent and the court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes behind such immunity.”
Mr Trump and his co-defendants have argued that their remarks preceding the January 6 attack were free speech and protected by the US Constitution.
Meanwhile, a judge in New York ruled last Thursday that Mr Trump and two of his adult children must answer questions under oath within 21 days in the state attorney general’s civil probe into their family company.
Justice Arthur Engoron of New York state court in Manhattan ruled in favour of Attorney General Letitia James who sought to enforce subpoenas to compel testimony by Mr Trump, Donald Trump Jr and his daughter Ivanka Trump.
He said Ms James had the clear right to question the Trumps after having uncovered “copious evidence of possible financial fraud.” Justice Engoron directed the Trumps to submit to questioning within 21 days.
The decision came after a two-hour long hearing in which the Trumps’ lawyers accused Ms James of doing an end run around their clients’ constitutional rights by seeking testimony she could then use against them in a parallel criminal probe.
Mr Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba accused Ms James of “selective prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct” that the US has never seen, citing statements reflecting the Democratic attorney general’s “vile disdain” for Trump.
Ms Habba said: “If he was not who he is, she would not be doing this. This court can help stop this circus.”
Kevin Wallace, a lawyer from Ms James’ office, rejected the accusation.
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