The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the former president’s media business sacked an executive on Thursday after he sent the publication internal SEC whistleblower complaint materials and spoke with the publication.
One of the original employees of Trump Media and Technology, which owns the social network Truth Social, Will Wilkerson served as senior vice president of operations.
According to the Post, Wilkerson filed the SEC whistleblower complaint in August and claimed that the firm used “fraudulent misrepresentations… in violation of federal securities laws” in its attempt to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
Wilkerson also detailed conflict at Trump Media, including conflict with CEO Devin Nunes, a Republican lawmaker and one of Trump’s staunchest supporters. Another CEO, according to Wilkerson, described how Trump urged him to offer Melania Trump stock in the company.
Trump Media’s representative refuted the Post’s report and emphasised that Truth Media is accessible through the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Samsung’s Galaxy Store. In an email to CNBC, the spokeswoman stated, “As Chairman of TMTG, President Trump hired Devin Nunes as CEO to develop a culture of compliance and construct a world-class team to drive Truth Social.”
A request for comment was not immediately answered by Digital World Acquisition Corp., the SPAC attempting to list the media company on the stock market.
Wilkerson’s lawyers were also contacted by CNBC for comment.
According to the Post, Wilkerson was fired by Trump Media for making “unauthorised disclosures” to the publication. According to the story, one of his attorneys described the dismissal as retaliation against a whistleblower. Whistleblowers are protected under the law.
The news is released as DWAC urges its shareholders to approve a delay in the merger with Trump Media that was previously announced. Trump Media would receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the deal, but DWAC has threatened to liquidate itself if it doesn’t go through with it.
Patrick Orlando, the CEO of DWAC, instructed one of his businesses to provide funds to DWAC so that it can survive until December. Four shareholder meetings have already been called to order by him, which suggests he lacks the support of the shareholders to postpone the merger.
SEC officials and Justice Department prosecutors are looking into the Trump Media-DWAC transaction. Trump Media has attributed the deal’s delay to the SEC.
In the report, he also discussed private conversations that took place between Orlando and Trump last year, before DWAC went public and the transaction was publicised. Those discussions might have gone against SEC regulations.
Wilkerson provided the Post with internal records, memos, pictures, videos, and other materials that were pertinent to the SEC probe. According to the Post, which cited Wilkerson’s attorneys, all of the materials had already been given to government authorities.
After the Miami Herald published the SEC complaint on October 6, Trump Media suspended the executive, citing a “blatant violation” of his nondisclosure agreement, the Post stated.