Since the Donald Trump-founded social media platform, Truth Social, launched in February, the site’s financial origins have been cloaked in a layer of mystery. The company secured a reported $1 billion in funding, but that money remains inaccessible pending a successful public launch. In the interim, Trump’s media venture has pulled together about $38 million in debt, according to SEC filings, and that money didn’t come from Trump himself. So, who provided it?
Finally, we have some answers, according to a report from Reuters. An oil tycoon with political ties, former Trump appointees and staff sycophants, and your generic rich business owners pooled their resources together.
In August, a former co-founding executive of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG),William Wilkerson, filed a whistleblower claim with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against his employer and the sketchy shell company trying to take Truth Social public. Earlier this month, Wilkerson went public with his complaint. And now, some of the documents Wilkerson shared with the SEC have come to light.
Here are some of the major Truth investors, according to those filings, as first reported by Reuters:
- Karl Pfluger, president of the Texas oil company Oryx Midstream and brother of Congressman August Pfluger, has put nearly $10 million towards Truth social since December 2021. Rep. Pfluger has been an outspoken supporter and endorsee of Trump. He was one of the many politicians who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election, and just recently started receiving fundraising dollars from Amazon’s corporate PAC.
- Patrick Walsh, CEO of Empire Holdings—a company that manages multiple gym brands—has invested $6.2 million with Truth.
- Kenny Troutt, a Texas telecoms billionaire who has donated to Trump before, forked over $4 million for Truth.
- Roy Bailey, the co-finance chairman for Trump’s 2016 election campaign and later a lobbyist for the administration, gave at least $200,000 towards Truth.
- George Glass, a real-estate developer from Oregon who was appointed to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal during Trump’s presidency, dumped in at least half a million.
- Bob McNutt, fittingly the CEO of a mail-order fruitcake company, made a modest $100,000 contribution to Trump’s social media platform.
Obviously, that still leaves about $10 million unaccounted for. According to Reuters, Wilkerson’s whistleblower documents contained about $9.4 million in promissory notes that the outlet couldn’t identify the origins of.
Though Trump’s Truth clearly has some wealthy and powerful supporters, the platform is still struggling amid multiple federal investigations. Its attempt to go public has been delayed by these probes, and investor support has seemingly waned in recent months. Last month, the shell company doing its best to prop the social media site up downgraded from an office space to a UPS store mailbox.
Notably, with Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter finally complete, Trump will likely return to his previous favorite platform. On Twitter, the former president once had more than 88 million followers, compared with just about 4 million on Truth, before being perma-banned. As long as his media company survives, Trump is contractually obligated to keep Truth-ing, but he’ll have leeway to tweet too. So, it’s unclear how much he will continue to prioritize growing Truth’s investor base and audience.
“I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs,” Trump posted on Truth on Friday, following the news of Musk’s takeover. In the post, he expressed enthusiasm for both platforms.