After former President Donald Trump was unceremoniously booted from his favorite social media platform, Twitter, speculation ran wild that he would — or should — create his own.
According to the Washington Examiner, the former president has told friends that he has secured hundreds of millions of dollars to back a social media venture “that would give him an online presence and protect conservatives from being shut down online.”
According to two sources who are familiar with those talks, some investors are Silicon Valley types who are equally worried about the rise of the left-wing “cancel culture.”
Details about a potentially major new social media platform — or, perhaps, the takeover of an existing start-up — came as the former president emerged from his self-imposed silence during the impeachment debacle and began doing TV and radio again following his Senate acquittal.
During an interview on Wednesday, Trump bragged about the tens of millions of followers he had on Twitter and Facebook before being banned by both platforms and that he had considered buying a social media company himself.
“We’re negotiating with a number of people,” he told Greg Kelly of Newsmax TV. “There is also the option of building your own site because we have more people than anybody, so you can literally build your own site. But we were being really harassed on Twitter. They were putting up all sorts of flags, I guess they call them, they were flagging almost anything you said.”
At the time he was banned, which the platforms claimed was due to the Jan. 6 riot they blamed on him, Trump said, “We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future.”
As to the new potential social media venture, the Washington Examiner added:
Two sources familiar with discussions said Trump had also met with potential investors in a new online venture designed to allow the former president to engage with his supporters and protect them from being taken offline.
Trump’s team is using the free speech argument to attract libertarian donors, said one Republican.
“They aren’t the people you might expect,” he said.
Trump was back in the spotlight this week to mourn the death of conservative talk show legend Rush Limbaugh. But, according to chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp, it was only a matter of time before the former president was once again in the spotlight, and not a moment too soon for his legions of supporters.
“There’s a real despondent feeling among those people,” said Schlapp, according to the Washington Examiner. “And many were buoyed to hear the former president. We never had a president get silenced before. It’s never happened.”
Existing social media platforms Parler and Gab are hoping to woo the former president like they have attracted many of his supporters, luring them away from left-wing Twitter.
And Gab already has Trump’s handle reserved for him.
“@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years,” chief executive Andrew Torba wrote in a recent post to his platform. “We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the president starts using it.”