Donald Trump has used Twitter as his primary means of communication throughout his presidency. But that platform was taken away from him permanently on Friday, apparently causing Mr Trump to hit the roof.
The president went“ballistic”, a senior administration official told Politico on Friday, after the platform’s decision to remove his account citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” following the deadly insurrection on Wednesday at the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Now Mr Trump is “scrambling to figure out what his options are” to communicate with his supporters, the official said.
A White House statement said the president was “negotiating with various other sites” while also considering “building out our own platform in the near future”.
The news of the president’s Twitter shutdown came after it emerged that he wanted to march to the US Capitol with his supporters on Wednesday, where the House and Senate were meeting to certify the Electoral College votes.
But advisers reportedly told Mr Trump “no”, according to people briefed on the discussions, The New Times reported.
Mr Trump also reportedly wanted the National Guard brought in so they could hold off anti-Trump counter-protesters who might turn up.
Instead the National Guard had to be called in on Wednesday to assist other law enforcement agencies in removing pro-Trump rioters from Capitol grounds. Reports indicated Mr Trump pushed back initially on sending additional help for Capitol Police once the situation deteriorated.
Along with Mr Trump’s Twitter ban, attorney Sidney Powell and the president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn were also permanently suspended from the platform for spreading conspiracy theories.
The president appeared to be blindsided by Twitter’s decision, after he had previously told allies, “they’ll never band me,” The New York Times reports.
Brad Parscale, Mr Trump’s former campaign manager, reportedly held a meeting with the president and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, last year to discuss moving from Twitter over to Parler – a new social media site popular among conservatives.
Mr Kushner shot down that idea, The New York Times reports, because he, like the president, believed that Twitter would never take action against the president.
The violence that took place at the Capitol, which left five people dead, swayed Twitter to first ban Mr Trump for 12 hours before deciding to issue a permanent suspension of his account.
Following the ban, Mr Trump attempted to use the POTUS Twitter account, which was set up for sitting presidents. But all of these attempts were almost immediately deleted by Twitter.
The environment at the White House has reportedly deteriorated since the insurrection at the Capitol. Aides described Mr Trump’s recent conduction as like “mad King George” and a “total monster” to The Washington Post.
“Trump believes that he has these people so intimidated they wouldn’t dare mess with him. I think Trump doesn’t understand how precarious his situation is right now,” the Republican source told the publication.
Prior to receiving his Twitter ban, Mr Trump announced he would not be attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.