Trump Media fires whistleblower after talking to Washington Post
In this photo illustration of a social media platform, the Truth Social logo displayed on a smartphone, with a photo of former US President Donald Trump in the background.
Rafael Enrique | Light rocket | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump’s media company fired an executive on Thursday after he shared internal documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower complaint with The Washington Post and spoke to the newspaper. informed Saturday.
Will Wilkerson was senior vice president of operations at Trump Media and Technology, which owns Truth Social, and was one of the company’s early employees.
Wilkerson filed a complaint with the SEC in August, alleging that the company relied on “fraudulent misrepresentations … in violation of federal securities laws” in its filing for a public offering through an investment vehicle known as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company or SPAC, according to the Post.
In the article, he also described strife within Trump Media, including tensions with CEO Devin Nunez, who as a Republican congressman has been one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. Wilkerson also said another executive detailed how he was pressured by Trump to give shares in the company to his wife, Melania Trump.
Trump Media and Digital World Acquisition Corporation.The SPAC, which is trying to take the media company public, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Wilkerson
CNBC also reached out to Wilkerson’s attorneys for comment.
The newspaper reported that Trump Media fired Wilkerson for “unauthorized disclosures” in the Post. According to the report, one of his lawyers called the dismissal revenge on the whistleblower. There are laws that protect whistleblowers.
The report comes as DWAC is pushing its shareholders to vote to delay a planned merger with Trump Media that was announced last year. DWAC has warned that it could go into liquidation if it doesn’t complete a merger that would net Trump Media hundreds of millions of dollars.
DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando has directed another of his companies to provide DWAC with funding to keep it afloat until December. It has already postponed the shareholder meeting four times, indicating that it does not have the backing of shareholders to delay the merger.
The Trump Media-DWAC deal is being investigated by SEC regulators and Justice Department prosecutors. Trump Media accused the SEC of delaying the deal.
In the article, he also described undisclosed discussions between Trump, his media company executives, and Orlando last year, before DWAC went public and the deal was announced. These negotiations may have violated SEC rules.
Wilkerson shared with The Post internal logs, memos, photos, videos, and other material relevant to the SEC investigation. All materials were previously provided to government investigators, the Post reports, citing Wilkerson’s lawyers.
Trump Media suspended the chief executive after the Miami Herald first reported on the SEC complaint on October 6, calling it a “flagrant violation” of its non-disclosure agreement, the Post reported.