Former US President Donald Trump could lose millions of dollars if he resumes tweeting after new Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated his account.
Despite Musk’s apparent attempts to get Mr Trump to use the social media platform again, the former leader has insisted he is content to remain on his own website, Truth Social, which he founded after was banned from mainstream tech platforms last year.
The reinstatement of Mr Trump’s Twitter account comes at a crucial time for the 45th President, who recently announced his intention to run for the White House again New York Post reports.
Meanwhile, Truth Social is a private property of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), owned by the former President.
TMTG is bound by an agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp, a special purpose vehicle (SPAC) formed to take Mr. Trump’s company public.
But if Trump’s company went public just for him to devalue Truth Social by summarizing his Twitter activities — thereby giving his tens of millions of followers a reason to ditch the fledgling social media platform — shareholders could sue him, a legal expert told Semafor.
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“If later it seems like he never had that intention [of remaining off Twitter] but he just wanted to convince people to move on and close [the SPAC deal] this is kind of a textbook securities fraud lawsuit,” Eric Talley, a professor at Columbia Law School, told Semafor.
Mr Trump could potentially return to Twitter with no legal repercussions, but only if he gives priority to his own app.
According to an SEC filing by TMTG, the billionaire is “generally required to publish every social media post on TruthSocial and may not publish the same post on any other social media site for six hours.”
The deal with the SPAC also allows Mr Trump to use “a personal account” to post to any social media site at any time “related to political messaging, political fundraising or vote-dropping efforts.” .
During a video speech ahead of a meeting of the Republican Jewish group in Las Vegas on Saturday, Mr Trump said he was aware of Musk’s poll but saw “a lot of problems with Twitter.”
“I heard we’re getting a big vote to come back on Twitter as well. I don’t see it because I don’t see a reason for it,” he said.
“It can do it, it can’t do it,” added the former president, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheaval.
Despite his bravery, Truth Social could collapse for reasons unrelated to Mr. Trump’s Twitter habits.
Federal regulators are investigating whether Mr. Trump’s company and DWAC misled investors by improperly negotiating a merger with each other.
Last week, The post reported that Patrick Orlando, CEO of Digital World Acquisition Corp, has personally courted small retail investors in a desperate attempt to keep the deal alive.
According to sources close to the situation, Mr. Orlando has called investors with just 20 shares each to urge them to vote for the deal.
The CEO, who had to postpone the vote six times, now believes he has the votes to complete the merger, these people add. Mr. Orlando has reportedly scheduled a live interview with media outlet IPO Edge for November 22, the day of the shareholder vote.
He previously poured $3 million ($4.5 million) into the deal in September to prevent DWAC from going into liquidation after failing to get a vote to approve the extension.
If he doesn’t win the Nov. 22 vote, Mr. Orlando could deposit another $3 million ($4.5 million) by Dec. 8 to keep DWAC going for another three months while it waits on the Pending SEC approval to purchase Truth Social.
Additional reporting by Lydia Moynihan and Josh Kosman
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission
Originally posted as Real Reason Donald Trump Won’t Return to Twitter