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Trump Media fired whistleblower after he spoke to Washington Post


On this photo illustration, the social media platform, Truth Social logo seen displayed on a smartphone with a photograph of former US President Donald Trump displayed within the background.

Rafael Henrique | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump’s media company fired an executive Thursday after he shared internal documents from a Securities and Exchange Commission whistleblower criticism with The Washington Post and spoke with the newspaper, the news outlet reported Saturday.

Will Wilkerson was a senior vice chairman of operations at Trump Media and Technology, which owns the social network Truth Social, and was one in all the corporate’s first employees.

Wilkerson filed the SEC whistleblower criticism in August, alleging that the corporate relied on “fraudulent misrepresentations … in violation of federal securities laws,” in line with the Post, in its bid to be taken public via an investment vehicle referred to as special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

Within the article, Wilkerson also described strife inside Trump Media, including tension with CEO Devin Nunes, who, as a Republican congressman, was one in all Trump’s most loyal defenders. Wilkerson also said one other executive detailed how Trump pressured him to offer shares in the corporate to his wife, Melania Trump.

A spokeswoman for Trump Media pushed back on the Post’s story and touted Truth Media’s availability on the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store and Samsung’s Galaxy Store. “As Chairman of TMTG, President Trump hired Devin Nunes as CEO to create a culture of compliance and construct a world-class team to guide Truth Social,” the spokeswoman said a press release emailed to CNBC.

Digital World Acquisition Corp., the SPAC looking for to take the media company public, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

CNBC also reached out to Wilkerson’s attorneys for comment.

Trump Media fired Wilkerson for making “unauthorized disclosures” to the Post, the newspaper said. One in all his lawyers called the firing a retalation against a whistleblower, in line with the report. There are laws that protect whistleblowers.

The report comes as DWAC pushes its shareholders to vote to delay its planned merger with Trump Media, which was announced last yr. DWAC has warned it could liquidate if it doesn’t complete the merger, which could be value a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of dollars to Trump Media.

DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando directed one other of his firms to offer DWAC funding to maintain it afloat until December. He has already adjourned a shareholder meeting 4 times, a sign that he doesn’t have the shareholder support to delay the merger.

The Trump Media-DWAC deal is being investigated by regulators on the SEC and prosecutors within the Justice Department. Trump Media has blamed the SEC for delaying the deal.

Within the article, he also described undisclosed discussions between Trump, his media company’s executives and Orlando last yr, before DWAC went public and the deal was announced. Those talks could have violated SEC rules.

Wilkerson shared internal logs, memos, photographs, videos and other material relevant to the SEC investigation with the Post. The entire materials were previously provided to government investigators, the Post said, citing Wilkerson’s attorneys.

Trump Media had suspended the manager after the Miami Herald first reported the SEC criticism on Oct. 6, calling it a “blatant violation” of his nondisclosure agreement, the Post said.

Read the complete Washington Post report here.

– CNBC’s Jack Stebbins contributed to this text.

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