- Will Wilkerson, co-founder of Trump’s media company, filed a whistleblower complaint with the SEC in August.
- Wilkerson detailed various allegations about the company to The Washington Post.
- An email obtained by the Post showed that another co-founder believed Trump was retaliating against him.
A co-founder of Trump Media & Technology Group, the company behind Truth Social, said former President Donald Trump pressured another executive to give some of his stock to Melania Trump and retaliated when the request was denied, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Will Wilkerson, who filed a complaint about the company with the SEC in August, made the allegation in a story published by the outlet on Saturday. The Post, which obtained materials filed with Wilkerson’s complaint, detailed allegations of infighting and potentially illegal activities at the company.
Trump received a 90% stake in the company when it was founded, according to the SEC complaint. But Wilkerson told the Post that he was with co-founder Andy Litinsky in October 2021 when the latter received a call from Trump. At the time, the company had recently reached a merger agreement that would catapult its share value. Wilkerson said the former president asked Litinsky to give some of his stock to Melania Trump.
Wilkerson told the Post that Litinsky objected, explaining that the gift would result in a tax bill he couldn’t pay: “Trump didn’t care. He said, ‘Do what you have to do.'”
Litinsky, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” was removed from the company’s board five months later in what Wilkerson believed was retaliation. According to a March email obtained by the Post, Litinsky also believed he had been retaliated against.
“President Trump over the last 2 months has repeatedly demanded that I give my TMTG equity to Melania Trump,” Litinsky wrote, according to a screenshot of the email published by the Post. “As I have informed you several times, I have earned that capital, and also ‘gifting’ capital to Melania Trump would be a taxable event that I cannot pay taxes on.”
Litinsky also said that Trump had threatened to “blow up the company” if his demands were not met, adding that he believed Trump was now “retaliating” against him and that he would seek legal counsel, according to the email screenshot.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Litinsky did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment sent through his consulting and production company, ZideLitinsky Media.
In a statement provided to Insider, a Trump Media & Technology Group representative criticized the Post’s reporting and touted the successes of Truth Social.
“As Chairman of TMTG, President Trump has hired Devin Nunes as CEO to create a culture of compliance and build a world-class team to lead Truth Social,” the statement said, noting that the platform has launched on app stores. from Apple and Google, attracted millions of users and “executed multiple feature updates”.
“Ignoring these achievements, the Washington Post published a story riddled with knowingly false and defamatory statements and other fabricated psychodramas,” the statement continues. The statement did not comment directly on specific allegations.
Wilkerson, who was serving as senior vice president of operations, said he was fired Thursday after speaking with the Post, the outlet reported. Wilkerson’s attorneys did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but told the Post that he is cooperating with the SEC and New York prosecutors investigating Trump Media.