Stymied Before, Trump Finds Backing for His Own Media Venture

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Politics|Stymied Before, Trump Finds Backing for His Own Media Venture

A merger could springiness the erstwhile president entree to astir $300 cardinal successful currency — and possibly a caller platform.

Former President Donald J. Trump and his investors said that the caller   institution  would beryllium  called Trump Media & Technology Group and that they would make  a caller   societal  web  called Truth Social.
Credit...Illustration by Chris Delmas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Jeremy W. PetersDavid Enrich

Oct. 20, 2021, 10:40 p.m. ET

Former President Donald J. Trump said connected Wednesday that helium had lined up the concern wealth to make his ain publically traded media company, an effort to reinsert himself successful the nationalist speech online from which helium has mostly been absent since Twitter and Facebook banned him aft the Jan. 6 insurrection.

If finalized, the woody could springiness the caller Trump institution entree to astir $300 cardinal successful spending money.

In a connection announcing the caller venture, Mr. Trump and his investors said that the caller institution would beryllium called Trump Media & Technology Group and that they would make a caller societal web called Truth Social. Its purpose, according to the statement, is “to make a rival to the wide media consortium and combat backmost against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley.”

Since helium near bureau and became the lone American president to beryllium impeached twice, Mr. Trump has had an progressive beingness successful blimpish media. But helium lacks the quality helium erstwhile had to sway quality cycles and predominate the nationalist governmental debate. He filed a suit this period asking Twitter to reinstate his account.

The announcement connected Wednesday besides pointed to a promised caller app listed for pre-sale connected the App Store, with mock-up illustrations bearing much than a passing resemblance to Twitter.

The details of Mr. Trump’s latest concern were vague. The connection helium issued was reminiscent of the benignant of claims helium made astir his concern dealings successful New York arsenic a existent property developer. It was replete with high-dollar amounts and superlatives that could not beryllium verified.

Rumors of Mr. Trump’s involvement successful starting his ain media businesses person circulated since helium was defeated successful the November 2020 election. None materialized. Despite aboriginal reports that helium was funny successful starting his ain cablegram transmission to rival Fox News, that was ne'er an thought that got precise acold fixed the immense costs and clip needed to enactment into it. A adjacent adviser, Jason Miller, started a rival societal media level for Trump supporters called Gettr. But Mr. Trump ne'er signed on.

In a connection connected Wednesday night, Mr. Miller said of his and Mr. Trump’s negotiations, “We conscionable couldn’t travel to presumption connected a deal.”

Mr. Trump’s spouse is Digital World Acquisition, a peculiar intent acquisition company, oregon SPAC. These alleged blank-check companies are an progressively fashionable benignant of concern conveyance that sells shares to the nationalist with the volition of utilizing the proceeds to bargain backstage businesses.

Digital World was incorporated successful Miami a period aft Mr. Trump mislaid the 2020 election.

The institution filed for an archetypal nationalist banal offering this spring, and it sold shares to the nationalist connected the Nasdaq banal speech past month. The I.P.O. raised astir $283 million, and Digital World drummed up different $11 cardinal by selling shares to investors done a alleged backstage placement.

Digital World is backed by immoderate marquee Wall Street names and others with high-powered connections. In regulatory filings aft the I.P.O., large hedge funds including D.E. Shaw, Highbridge Capital Management, Lighthouse Partners and Saba Capital Management person reported owning important percentages of Digital World.

Digital World’s main enforcement is Patrick F. Orlando, a erstwhile worker of concern banks including the German Deutsche Bank, wherever helium specialized successful the trading of fiscal instruments known arsenic derivatives. He created his ain concern bank, Benessere Capital, successful 2012, according to a caller regulatory filing.

Digital World’s main fiscal officer, Luis Orleans-Braganza, is simply a subordinate of Brazil’s National Congress.

Mr. Orlando disclosed successful a caller filing that helium owned astir 18 percent of the company’s outstanding stock. Mr. Orlando and representatives for Digital World did not instantly respond to requests for comment.

This is not Mr. Orlando’s archetypal blank-check company. He has created astatine slightest 2 others, including one, Yunhong International, that is incorporated successful the offshore taxation haven of the Cayman Islands.

At the clip that investors bought shares successful Digital World, it had not disclosed what, if any, companies it planned to acquire. On its website, Digital World said that its extremity was “to absorption connected combining with a starring tech company.”

At slightest 1 of the investors, Saba Capital Management, did not cognize astatine the clip of the archetypal nationalist offering that Digital World would beryllium doing a transaction with Mr. Trump, according to a idiosyncratic acquainted with the matter.

Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly lied astir the results of the 2020 predetermination portion accusing the mainstream quality media of publishing “fake” stories to discredit him, leaned hard into the conception of information arsenic his caller company’s governing ethos.

“We unrecorded successful a satellite wherever the Taliban has a immense beingness connected Twitter, yet your favourite American president has been silenced,” Mr. Trump said successful his written statement, vowing to people his archetypal point soon. “This is unacceptable.”

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