In this photo illustration, the social media platform Truth Social logo displayed on a smartphone with a photo of former US President Donald Trump in 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 filing with The Washington Post and spoke with the newspaper, the news agency reported Saturday.
Will Wilkerson was senior vice president of operations at Trump Media and Technology, which owns the social network Truth Social, and was one of the company’s first employees.
Wilkerson filed an SEC whistleblower complaint in August, alleging the company relied on “fraudulent misrepresentations … in violation of federal securities laws,” according to the Post, in its bid to go public through an investment firm known as a special acquisitions company , or SPAC.
In the article, Wilkerson also described infighting within Trump Media, including tensions with CEO Devin Nunes, who as a Republican congressman was one of Trump’s staunchest defenders. Wilkerson also said another executive described how Trump pressured him to give stock in the company to his wife, Melania Trump.
A Trump Media spokeswoman pushed back on the Post’s story, touting Truth Media’s availability on the Apple App Store, 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 build a world-class team to lead Truth Social,” the spokeswoman said in a statement sent to CNBC.
Digital World Acquisition Corp.The SPAC, which is trying to take the media company public, did not immediately respond 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 paper said. One of his lawyers called the firing retaliation against a whistleblower, according to the report. There are laws that protect whistleblowers.
The report comes as DWAC is pushing its shareholders to vote to delay its planned merger with Trump Media, which was announced last year. DWAC has warned that it could be liquidated if it does not complete the merger, which would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump Media.
DWAC CEO Patrick Orlando called on another of his companies to provide DWAC with funding to keep it afloat until December. He has already adjourned a general meeting four times, suggesting he does not have shareholder support to delay the merger.
The Trump Media-DWAC deal is being investigated by regulators at the SEC and prosecutors at the Department of Justice. Trump Media has blamed the SEC for delaying the deal.
In the article, he also described secret discussions between Trump, his media company executives and Orlando last year, before DWAC went public and the deal was announced. These calls may have violated SEC rules.
Wilkerson shared internal logs, memos, photographs, videos and other material relevant to the SEC investigation with the Post. All materials have previously been turned over to state investigators, the Post said, citing Wilkerson’s attorneys.
Trump Media had suspended the executive after the Miami Herald first reported the SEC complaint on Oct. 6, calling it a “flagrant violation” of his nondisclosure agreement, the Post said.
Read the full Washington Post report here.
— CNBC’s Jack Stebbins contributed to this article.