Can Donald Trump's Truth Social deal save him from his financial woes? Maybe.


WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump’s finances have been in peril over the past weeks. In a civil fraud case, Trump has been ordered to pay a half-billion dollar bond which his lawyers have called a “practical impossibility.” And in his quest to reclaim the White House, President Joe Biden has been lapping him in fundraising.

But a deal to take his social media platform, Truth Social, and its parent company public could provide the former president and business magnate a critical lifeline and could more than double his net worth and net him more than $3 billion.

The deal isn’t set in stone yet and Trump still has a few hurdles to clear if he wants immediate access to his newfound wealth. Here’s what to know about Trump’s social media deal and his financial woes.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and former First Lady Melania Trump arrive to vote in Florida's primary election at a polling station at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 19, 2024.Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and former First Lady Melania Trump arrive to vote in Florida's primary election at a polling station at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 19, 2024.

Former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) and former First Lady Melania Trump arrive to vote in Florida’s primary election at a polling station at the Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on March 19, 2024.

What is Truth Social?

Truth Social is Trump’s social media platform he launched after the 2020 election. The app is similar to X, formerly Twitter, and is Trump’s favored messaging tool after his X account was permanently suspended for his false claims of election fraud. His account has since been reinstated after Elon Musk took control of the platform, but Trump has stayed on Truth Social.

The app is marketed as an alternative social media platform for conservatives. Trump said in a statement he started the platform to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

What is the Truth Social merger?

Investors on Friday green lighted a merger with Trump’s media and technology company, aptly named Trump Media & Technology Group. The company, which owns Truth Social, will merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp, an SPAC – companies aimed at raising cash and merging with other entities.

If all goes well with the agreement, Truth Social can start trading on Monday labeled DJT – Trump’s initials.

Trump’s stake in Truth Social’s parent company values over $3 billion but a prior agreement bars Trump from selling any of his shares or borrowing cash against them for six months. If the agreement sticks, Trump’s financial problems won’t be going away anytime soon.

This photo illustration shows an image of former US President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app, in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2022.This photo illustration shows an image of former US President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app, in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2022.

This photo illustration shows an image of former US President Donald Trump next to a phone screen that is displaying the Truth Social app, in Washington, DC, on February 21, 2022.

What are Trump’s financial problems?

Trump’s most immediate problem is a nearly half billion dollar bond he is ordered to post by Monday.

Last month a New York judge ruled in a civil fraud case that the former president inflated the values of his properties and delivered a penalty of almost $454 million. Trump is seeking to appeal the ruling and must put up a bond equal to the penalty. His lawyers however, told an appeals court it was a “practical impossibility” to put up the bond.

“Despite scouring the market, we have been unsuccessful in our effort to obtain a bond for the Judgment Amount for Defendants for the simple reason that obtaining an appeal bond for $464 million is a practical impossibility under the circumstances presented,” his lawyers said in a court filing.

If Trump can’t post the bond by Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James can begin collecting the penalty from last month’s case. If Trump can’t pay up, James could begin seizing his assets.

Trump’s fundraising numbers

Trump is also significantly trailing Biden in campaign fundraising as he runs for a second term while he is mired in legal trouble.

Biden raised $21.3 million in February, nearly double what Trump raised the same month – $10.9 million – according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Not only that, Biden’s campaign has $71 million cash on hand compared to Trump’s campaign which falls behind at $33.5 million.

An aerial view of the Trump National Golf Club is seen on March 22, 2024 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.An aerial view of the Trump National Golf Club is seen on March 22, 2024 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

An aerial view of the Trump National Golf Club is seen on March 22, 2024 in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Can the Truth Social deal save Trump?

Maybe.

Trump could ask the company Truth Social is merging with to waive the six-month waiting period – called a “lock-up” provision – before he could turn his stake into cash but that has its own set of complications.

But waiving the requirement could lower the company’s value and might not even allow Trump to tap into all of his shares as he could be limited to how much stock he can sell.

With the Monday deadline quickly approaching, it’s still unclear how Trump will be able to post up the $464 million bond. In the meantime, Trump’s lawyers are attempting to either reduce the bond requirement or completely waive it.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Can Donald Trump’s Truth Social deal solve his money problems?



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