A co-founder of the firm behind Truth Social says Trump retaliated against another exec who refused to gift some of his shares to Melania

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand onstage during a “Salute to America” ​​event on the South Lawn of the White House, Saturday, July 4, 2020, in Washington.Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

  • Will Wilkerson, co-founder of Trump’s media company, filed an SEC whistleblower complaint in August.

  • Wilkerson detailed several allegations about the company to The Washington Post.

  • An email obtained by the Post showed 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 pushed another executive to give some of his shares to Melania Trump and retaliated when the request was declined, according to a Washington Post report.

Will Wilkerson, who filed a whistleblower complaint about the company to the SEC in August, made the allegation in a story published by the outlet on Saturday. The Post, which obtained materials submitted with Wilkerson’s complaint, detailed accusations of infighting and potentially illegal activity at the company.

Trump had been given a 90% stake in the company when it was founded, according to the SEC complaint. But Wilkerson told the Post he was with fellow 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 deal that would catapult the value of its stock. Wilkerson said the former president asked Litinsky to give some of his shares to Melania Trump.

Wilkerson told the Post that Litinsky demurred and explained the gift would result in a tax bill he would be unable to pay: “Trump didn’t care. He said, ‘Do whatever you need 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 past 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 him several times, I have earned that equity, and also ‘gifting’ equity to Melania Trump would be a taxable event of which I can’t afford to pay the taxes.”

Litinsky also said Trump had threatened to “blow up the company” if his demands weren’t met, adding he believed Trump was now “retaliating” against him and that he’d be seeking legal counsel, according to the screenshot of the email.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Litinsky did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent via his consulting and production company, ZideLitinsky Media.

In a statement provided to Insider, a representative for Trump Media & Technology Group blasted the Post’s reporting and touted Truth Social’s successes.

“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 statement said, noting the platform has launched on the Apple and Google app stores, attracted millions of users, and “executed multiple feature updates.”

“Ignoring these achievements, the Washington Post published a story rife with knowingly false and defamatory statements and other concocted psychodramas,” the statement continued. The statement did not comment directly on specific allegations.

Wilkerson, who was serving as senior vice president of operations, said he was fired on Thursday after talking to the Post, the outlet reported. Lawyers for Wilkerson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment but told the Post he is cooperating with the SEC and New York prosecutors investigating Trump Media.

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