(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) Conservatives on social media did not hold back their dismay after former President Donald Trump used his information channels to tout a “Major Announcement” Thursday that appeared to be nothing more than a glorified advertisement for digital trading cards.
The announcement, which came around 11 a.m. Eastern, revealed that Trump was offering a set of “limited edition cards featur[ing] amazing art of my Life & Career!”
Outspoken conservative rapper Bryson Gray, a longtime Trump supporter, appeared to speak for many when he tweeted his reaction.
“Can we be honest about that being a let down?” he wrote.
Trump’s major announcement was about digital trading cards. Can we be honest about that being a let down?
— CCG BRYSON (@RealBrysonGray) December 15, 2022
Meanwhile, popular conservative radio host Ben Shapiro, whose support for Trump has been more ambivalent, mocked the new development.
Thank God, the digital trading cards are here. It was indeed a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT. pic.twitter.com/T1nsqRwr92
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 15, 2022
Leftist media hacks like ex-Vox writer Aaron Rupar were gleefully vicious about it.
Oh my goodness Trump’s “major announcement” is even more pathetic than I anticipated pic.twitter.com/5IzjklP7Fo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 15, 2022
Several mainstream websites appeared stunned but faithfully covered the development as a news story.
In truth, they were not far off.
According to a New York Post “exclusive,” the actual announcement was that Trump would ban federal government efforts to flag domestic “misinformation” if re-elected in 2024.
“If we don’t have free speech, then we just don’t have a free country. It’s as simple as that,” Trump began in an entirely seperate video wearing the same red tie and blue suit as in his fake announcement.
“If this most fundamental right is allowed to perish then the rest of our rights and liberties will topple, just like dominos, one by one, they’ll go down,” he continued. “That’s why today I’m announcing my plan to shatter the left-wing censorship regime and to reclaim the right to free speech for all Americans—and reclaim is a very important word in this case because they’ve taken it away.”
The reports have shown the vast extent of government collusion among social-media outlets with the Biden campaign and federal intelligence agencies as they sought to censor conservative media that would benefit Trump during the 2020 election, as well as Twitter’s deliberations about ultimately banning the then-sitting president.
“In recent weeks, bombshell reports have confirmed that a sinister group of Deep State bureaucrats, Silicon Valley tyrants, left-wing activists, and depraved corporate news media have been conspiring to manipulate and silence the American People,” Trump said. “The censorship cartel must be dismantled and destroyed—and it must happen immediately.”
Trump then outlined a specific policy agenda that he would use to protect citizens’ free speech while reining in the corruption by holding partisan media institutions accountable for their acts of bad faith manipulation in the public square.
“Within hours of my inauguration, I will sign an executive order banning any federal department or agency from colluding with any organization, business or person, to censor, limit, categorize or impede the lawful speech of American citizens,” he said.
“I will then ban federal money from being used to label domestic speech as ‘mis-‘ or ‘dis-information,’” he continued. “And I will begin the process of identifying and firing every federal bureaucrat who has engaged in domestic censorship—directly or indirectly—whether they are the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, the DOJ, no matter who they are.”
The video was the first of many that Trump is expected to post outlining his policy agenda, the Post said.
Whether his stunt—reminiscent of his grassroots 2016 campaign—will hit its mark remains to be seen.
Amid a series of leftist lawfare attacks and unforced errors, his campaign has gotten off to a sputtering start, with some polls already projecting him to be trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis among Republicans.
Most notably, Trump raised eyebrows by appearing to express his solidarity with rapper Kanye West following West’s series of overtly and unapologetically anti-Semitic remarks.
Although he insisted he had no knowledge of who Fuentes was, it led many to wonder if it was a subliminal—or deliberate—act of self-sabotage on Trump’s part.
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at truthsocial.com/@bensellers.