A co-founder of Truth Social’s media parent company was kicked out of the company’s board after he ignored Donald Trump’s demands to donate some of his stock to Melania Trump, a whistleblower told The Washington Post.
Trump pushed for the giveaway to his wife, even though he had already received 90% of the shares in the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) in exchange for the use of his name and another “minor involvement,” former corporate executive Will Wilkerson told the Post.
The company’s co-founder reportedly dodged the request, telling Trump it would leave him with a tax bill he couldn’t pay. “Do what you have to do,” Trump snapped back, according to Wilkerson.
He was forced from the board five months later in what Wilkerson said was retaliation for failing to transfer a “small fortune” to Melania Trump, the paper reported Saturday.
The incident was one of a series of bomb revelations, supported by several documents reviewed by the paper about bitter infighting in the Trump business, technical errors, questionable financial statements and what Wilkerson believed were violations of Securities and Exchange regulations, according to the report. Post.
Wilkerson filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August regarding the company. Wilkerson’s attorney told the paper he is also cooperating with ongoing investigations into Trump Media by the SEC and by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York.
Wilkerson was fired from his job as TMTG Senior Vice President of Operations on Thursday after speaking with The Post.
Trump Media said in a statement in response to several specific questions from the Post regarding Wilkerson’s information that as company chairman, Trump hired former California Republican Congresswoman Devin Nunes as CEO to “create a culture of compliance and build a world-class team.” to lead Truth Social.”
The statement complained that the Post “sent us an investigation rife with knowingly false and defamatory statements and other fabricated psychodramas.”
According to the newspaper, it did not specifically address any of the questions from the Post.
The new information follows an ever-growing list of bad news for Trump’s Truth Social and media business.
Digital World Acquisition Corp. — the special acquisition firm (SPAC) tasked with bringing Truth Social to the stock market — revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month that investors had already returned $139 million in pledges of the $1 billion previously announced by the company .
There’s probably more to come. Investors, who agreed to withdraw the money nearly a year ago, can now drop their pledges because Digital World missed its initial September 20 deadline to merge with Trump Media. That deadline was extended by three months after shareholders rejected their bid for a 12-month extension. But investors can still pull out.
A major web hosting operator complained in August that Truth Social owed about $1.6 million in contractually-mandated payments, a claim that suggests the operation’s finances are in “significant disarray,” Fox Business News reported.
In another setback, Truth Social’s trademark application was rejected in August because the name was too similar to other operations.
Trump last month insisted he wasn’t worried about all the social money woes because, explaining, “I’m really rich,” he posted on the social media platform. “I don’t need financing.”
But in the next sentence he asked, “Private business, anyone???” in what appeared to be an invitation to investors.
Check out the entire Washington Post story here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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