Trump Media documents suggest Parler, Rumble as possible merger partners

The Rumble video platform logo on a laptop computer arranged in Hastings on Hudson, New York, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

Tiffany Hagler-Geard | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Trump Media and Technology Group executives named Parler and Rumble as theoretical acquisitions or partners, according to documents provided by co-founder and whistleblower, William Wilkerson, through his counsel.

Wilkerson was one of the early executives at Trump Media and its Twitter-esque social media platform Truth Social. The project was started by former President Donald Trump after he was banned from Twitter over his tweets during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capital riot, when hundreds of his supporters invaded Congress in an attempt to block confirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory.

Among Wilkerson’s documents — which range from the summer of 2021 to the fall of 2022 — is a photo depicting a flow chart on an easel describing “Trump’s New Media Empire,” which lists a series of “potential acquisitions and/or partnerships.” The graphic lists fellow right-wing-friendly social media platform Parler — which Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, said he would buy — conservative video platform Rumble, as well as Discord and linear cable channels like One America News and Newsmax.

The undated photo features Andy Dean Litinsky, another Trump executive and former “Apprentice” contestant who Wilkerson alleges was fired for not gifting shares of Trump Media to Melania Trump. Litinsky was fired in March.

Rumble, which currently provides Truth Social’s video hosting services, recently went public through a SPAC deal, a process Trump Media is currently looking to complete, too. Trump Media’s deal with shell company Digital World Acquisition Corp., however, is facing legal and financial obstacles.

The agreement has passed key deadlines, losing over $100 million in potential funding along the way. Attempts to extend such deadlines have failed to garner support to delay the merger deadline until next year. Another shareholder meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning.

DWAC and Trump Media are also the subject of a criminal probe into possible securities violations relating to conversations that occurred between the two parties prior to the merger announcement.

Amidst these problems, Wilkerson told The New York Times that it’s plausible that Trump Media could merge with the already public Rumble, unlocking access to around $400 million in cash.

“It is a high probability now that Rumble is a publicly traded entity,” Mr. Wilkerson said during the interview with The New York Times, which he did alongside his legal team of Philip Brewster, Patrick Mincey and Stephen Bell.

Representatives from Trump Media, DWAC and Rumble did not respond to questions about the possibility of such a deal. Parler didn’t respond to a request for comment.

While the photo names these possible acquisition targets, it also names a number of other ventures for Trump Media that have yet to come to fruition, including “Trump Faith/Classic Films,” “Trump Book Publishing” and “Trump Documentaries.”

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