Former President Donald Trump could stand to lose millions of dollars if he succumbs to temptation and resumes communicating with the masses through Twitter now that new boss Elon Musk reinstated his account.
Despite Musk’s apparent attempts to goad Trump into tweeting again, Trump has insisted that he is content to stay put at his own social media platform, Truth Social, which he founded after he was banned by mainstream tech platforms last year.
The reinstatement of Trump’s Twitter account comes at a pivotal juncture for the 45th president, who recently announced his intention to run again for the White House.
Truth Social is a privately held property of Trump Media & Technology Group, which is owned by the former president.
TMTG is locked into an agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which was created to take Trump’s company public.
If Trump’s company were to go public only for him to devalue Truth Social by resuming his Twitter activities — and thus giving his tens of millions of followers a reason to abandon the fledgling social media platform and return to Musk’s outfit — shareholders could sue him, a legal expert told Semafor.
“If it’s going to look, later on, that he never had that intention [of remaining off Twitter] but he just wanted to convince people that they should go ahead and close [the SPAC deal] that’s kind of a textbook securities fraud lawsuit,” Columbia Law School professor Eric Talley told Semafor.
Trump could conceivably return to Twitter without facing any legal repercussions — but only if he gives priority to his own app.
According to an SEC filing by TMTG, Trump “is generally obligated to make any social media post on TruthSocial and may not make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours.”
The deal with the SPAC also allows Trump to use “a personal account” to make posts “related to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts on any social media site at any time.”
During a video speech to a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday, Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but that he saw “a lot of problems at Twitter.”
“I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said.
“It may make it, it may not make it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheavals.
Despite Trump’s bravado, Truth Social may collapse for reasons unrelated to the former president’s Twitter habits.
Federal regulators are investigating whether Trump’s company and DWAC misled investors by improperly negotiating with each other about a merger.
Last week, The Post reported that Patrick Orlando, the CEO of Digital World Acquisition Corp., has personally been canvassing small retail investors in a desperate bid to keep the deal alive.
Orlando has been picking up the phone and calling investors with as few as 20 shares each to urge them to vote for the deal, according to sources close to the situation.
Orlando — who has been forced to reschedule the vote six times — now believes he has the votes to consummate the merger, these people add. Orlando reportedly has scheduled a live interview with the IPO Edge media service for Nov. 22 — the day of the shareholder vote.
Orlando previously put $3 million into the deal in September to keep DWAC from liquidating after failing to get a vote approving the extension. If he doesn’t win the Nov. 22 vote, Orlando could deposit another $3 million by Dec. 8 to keep DWAC operating another three months as it waits for SEC approval to buy Truth Social.
Additional Reporting by Lydia Moynihan and Josh Kosman