Former President Donald Trump hosted the conservative influencers behind “Libs of Tik Tok” and Babylon Bee at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago as part of a new charm offensive by the Republican presidential candidate, according to a source with knowledge of the strategy.
In addition to the creator of the controversial Twitter account “Libs of TikTok,” Trump also hosted Seth Dillon, who owns the conservative political satire website Babylon Bee, according to the source. Dillon could not be immediately reached for comment.
This was among the first of many wine-and-dine events that Trump has planned with social media influencers, the source said.
Trump, who last year announced he is running again for president, has been slow to start holding public rallies or events for his re-election campaign. On Saturday, he will head to New Hampshire and South Carolina for events.
The creator of “Libs of TikTok,” which has gained widespread popularity among far-right figures, on Tuesday tweeted a photo with Trump, whom she says invited her to dinner.
“Bumped into this guy and he invited me for dinner. He seems nice!” Chaya Raichik, owner of the “Libs of TikTok” account, wrote in a tweet containing a photo of her and Trump giving a thumbs-up while seated at a dining table.
Raichik is seen as being influential in the political circle of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seen as a potential primary opponent of Trump.
In a separate tweet, Raichick said that she asked Trump “if his first tweet back can be retweeting this,” with a crying laughing emoji. The former president has been absent from Twitter following his suspension after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Trump’s account in November, but he has yet to post anything to the social media platform. Trump, however, has sought input for weeks about hopping back on Twitter and that his campaign advisers have also workshopped ideas for his first tweet, NBC News reported.
It is unclear why Trump met with Raichik. NBC News reached out to Trump for comment.
Raichik was identified as the creator of “Libs of TikTok” during a Washington Post report last year. The Twitter account has more than 1 million followers, and more than 300,000 followers on Instagram.
Raichik started “Libs of TikTok” months after the Trump’s suspension from Twitter, the Post reported. Posts to the account, which largely consists of mocking TikTok videos and social media posts from people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community, have been widely shared by right-wing media figures, politicians and influencers. Its influence among right-wingers comes amid a recent surge in anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country.
In now-deleted tweets under a former Twitter handle, Raichik reportedly stated her support for Trump, according to the Post. Raichik talked about traveling to Washington, D.C. to support Trump at the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021 amid the then-president’s refusal to concede his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Raichik also reportedly tweeted videos and her account of events as the Capitol attack unfolded.
Summer Concepcion is a politics reporter for NBC News.
Marc Caputo is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.