Trump asked Musk to buy Truth Social last year in new revelation


Former president Donald Trump asked Elon Musk last summer time whether or not the billionaire industrialist would have an interest in shopping for Trump’s social community Truth Social, in accordance to two folks with data of the dialog.

The overture to Musk, whose enterprise empire contains SpaceX, Tesla and the social networking website X, didn’t lead to a deal. But the dialog, which has not been beforehand reported, exhibits the 2 males have communicated greater than was identified. The two have had different conversations, too, Trump advisers say, about politics and enterprise.

Among their conversations was a gathering earlier this month in Palm Beach, Fla., the place Trump met with Musk and some high-powered Republican donors, the folks stated. The topic of that dialogue isn’t clear however, after it was first reported by the New York Times, which famous that the assembly occurred whereas Trump was on the lookout for marketing campaign contributions, the billionaire wrote on X that he’s “not donating money to either candidate for US President.”

Musk, the world’s second-richest man, has more and more voiced help for conservative ideology on X, together with echoing Trump’s unverified claims that the Biden administration is, as Musk wrote last week, “importing voters and creating a national security threat from unvetted illegal immigrants.”

At the time of last summer time’s dialogue, Trump’s media firm, which owns Truth Social, was trapped in a long-delayed merger course of. Musk purchased X, then referred to as Twitter, for $44 billion in 2022.

When The Washington Post asked Musk in regards to the Truth Social name and his different talks with Trump, Musk responded solely that he had “never been to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s property in Palm Beach.

Trump Media & Technology Group didn’t tackle any of the details reported in this story when invited to accomplish that by The Post. In an emailed assertion, Trump Media spokeswoman Shannon Devine stated solely, “We heard Trump and Musk were actually discussing buying the Washington Post but they decided it had no value.”

A spokesman for Trump’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to a request for remark.

One of the explanations Trump has not posted on X is that he desires to create and maintain monetary worth for his Truth Social website, which he assiduously tracks, in accordance to folks shut to him.

He has relentlessly tried to put it up for sale, telling his advisers that he desires to break information on the platform partially to carry in extra customers. “It’s hot,” he says, typically polling guests to Mar-a-Lago about whether or not they have an account.

He has tweeted as soon as since leaving the Oval Office — solely his dour mug shot last year from an Atlanta jail, the place he was booked on fees of making an attempt to overturn the 2020 election outcomes in the state.

At the time of the decision last summer time, Trump Media, which owns Truth Social, confronted a dim monetary outlook. In April, Trump had stated in a monetary disclosure submitting for his presidential candidacy that his 90 p.c stake in the corporate was price between $5 million and $25 million and that his revenue from it had been lower than $200.

Three months later, the corporate’s proposed merger accomplice, Digital World Acquisition Corp., introduced that it had provided to pay an $18 million settlement if the merger had been accomplished to settle fees by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had misled traders, additional casting doubt over the deal on the time.

But in the previous month, the SEC greenlit Digital World’s merger registration, setting the stage for Trump Media to turn out to be a public firm probably price billions of {dollars}. That change might supply Trump a monetary lifeline as he faces a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in authorized penalties. Shareholders are anticipated to formally approve the merger throughout a vote later this month, however a lockup provision of the deal would require Trump to wait six months earlier than promoting any shares.

Musk as soon as belittled Truth Social, posting in 2022 that Trump’s website had a “terrible name” and that it was “time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.”

Trump responded on Truth Social by posting a photograph of the 2 males in the Oval Office alongside a caption: When Musk visited “the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects … I could have said ‘drop to your knees and beg,’ and he would have done it,” he wrote.

Musk, he added, “should focus on getting himself out of the Twitter mess,” saying the positioning was “perhaps worthless.”

Musk, nevertheless, publicly condemned Twitter’s banning of Trump’s account after the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. The website, beneath Musk, reactivated Trump’s account in late 2022.

Within the previous year, as Musk’s promotion of conspiracy theories and criticism of liberal causes as a “woke mind virus” have pushed away customers and advertisers, Musk has voiced enthusiasm about Trump’s potential to win consideration on social media. In August, he stated on X: “People are clearly interested in hearing from Trump. One may not agree with the man, but he is never boring!”

He posted last week that “Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a very real disease.”

Trump has continued to insist to advisers and other people shut to him that Musk ought to buy Truth Social. If he selected to promote the platform, it might present him a a lot wanted money infusion, although the merger course of and lockup interval might complicate the deal.

Trump met with Musk after latest judgments in opposition to the previous president in two civil instances which will value him nicely over $500 million.

On Friday, Trump posted a $91 million bond to keep a judgment in opposition to him in a defamation go well with introduced by the author E. Jean Carroll, which he’s interesting. In a fraud case introduced by the New York lawyer common, Trump will want to pay penalties of greater than $450 million or publish a bond of the identical quantity later this month to keep the judgment in that case throughout attraction.

Trump has not stated the place he plans to get the cash. Few Wall Street banks have lent him substantial sums since his Trump-branded Atlantic City casinos started failing in the Nineties, and borrowing in opposition to his properties could also be tough and costly to do in quick order, specialists stated. He lists 22 property — most of them actual property — as valued at “over $50 million” every, in accordance to a submitting he made with the federal government in August, and dozens of different much less beneficial properties. But he has made no public strikes to promote his greatest actual property.

Trump’s attorneys have made numerous filings in latest days geared toward shopping for the previous president extra time to safe the wanted funds or no less than to cut back the quantity he should present.

They argued in courtroom that even the world’s wealthiest folks can’t give you half a billion {dollars} so rapidly.

“No one, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Donald Trump, has five hundred million laying around,” Trump lawyer Christopher Kise argued earlier than an appeals courtroom decide last week. (Bezos, the founding father of Amazon, owns The Post.)

Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report.

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