Trump enters the inevitable ‘sue everyone’ phase of his stock scam

Donald Trump’s businesses tend to pupate in predictable ways. It’s really just a two-step process when you think about it: First he scams anyone who’s foolish enough to get within spittle distance of him, and then he sues them.

When it comes to the parent company of Truth Social, we’re already in the suing phase. Maybe it’s a bit early for that, but Trump is particularly desperate these days. He needs to find new revenue streams from his current scams to pay for the predictable fallout from his previous scams, and it’s simply exhausting.

And just days after its launch, Trump’s latest public stock is already poised to make some savvy, forward-thinking people a lot of money. Those people are short-sellers and lawyers, who are currently circling like drunk buzzards over the mustering hosts of suckers and losers whose familiarity with Trump’s business practices is pretty much limited to what they’ve seen on “The Apprentice.” Or, perhaps more accurately, in Scrooge McDuck cartoons.

True to form, Trump’s suing the loyal business partners who most trusted him. Because he’s Donald Trump, and this is what Trump does and has always done. Seriously, people sending love letters to serial killers serving life sentences must look at Trump investors and wonder what the fuck is wrong with them.

The Associated Press:

Donald Trump is suing two co-founders of Trump Media & Technology Group, the newly public parent company of his Truth Social platform, arguing that they should forfeit their stock in the company because they set it up improperly.

The former U.S. president's lawsuit, which was filed on March 24 in Florida state court, follows a complaint filed in February by those co-founders, Andy Litinsky and Wes Moss. Their lawsuit sought to prevent Trump from taking steps the two said would sharply reduce their combined 8.6% stake in Trump Media. The pair filed their lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Trump's lawsuit claims that Litinsky and Moss, who were both contestants on Trump’s reality-TV show “The Apprentice,” mishandled an attempt to take Trump Media public several years ago, allegedly putting the whole project “on ice” for more than a year and a half.

Trump is suing the founders of Truth Social because he's Trump. They brought the deal to him but he now alleges that they don't deserve their $606 million (on paper) stake in the company. They sued him in Delaware; he's suing them in Florida. Hot mess:

— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) April 2, 2024

Of course, seeing retail investors pile actual U.S. currency into Trump’s empty husk of a meme stock is a bit like watching one of those Fyre Festival documentaries and eagerly awaiting the moment the paid guests start showing up at the concert grounds. We know what’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time. If only we could fast-forward.

The rolling Truth Social stock disaster has been covered at Daily Kos here, here, here, and here, and there are literally dozens of reasons to believe Trump’s stock is headed nowhere but south. But here’s just one, from site founder Markos Moulitsas’ recent story on this latest Trump scam:

The [8-K] filing doesn’t sound all that optimistic: “TMTG expects to continue to incur operating losses and negative cash flows from operating activities for the foreseeable future, as it works to expand its user base, attracting more platform partners and advertisers.” So what is the company doing to attract more users and advertisers? “This growth is expected to come from the overall appeal of the Truth Social Platform.” Ahh, the “vibes” approach to company-building. There is nothing wrong with losing money in order to grow. Most growing businesses do that at some point. But they also don’t go public with a measly $4.1 million in revenue. The norm for Wall Street IPOs is $100 million in revenue and significant year-over-year growth. The idea that a company that has one-third of the revenue of Daily Kos is worth nearly $9 billion is the height of absurdity. And most people know this, which is why this is destined to be a penny stock.

Of course, as Kos notes, Truth Social stock is already plummeting, because it’s a house built on sand—but without the house part. Its fundamentals are piss poor, and its prospects are little better. Remember: Trump Media & Technology Group reported $58 million in losses for 2023 and a truly anemic $4.13 million in revenue. Which is weird, because you’d think the fortnightly goat sacrifices to Trump would yield more revenue than that, if only from the associated meat sales.

So, partly because Trump famously hates when anyone but him makes money off his name, and partly because he can’t control his greed, he is suing his business partners. And if they were at all surprised when they first felt that plastic Taco Bell spork plunge into their backs, well, they shouldn’t have been.

Because Trump sues everyone! He can’t help himself. After all, he once had the audacity to sue Deutsche Bank after he defaulted on the bank’s $640 million loan. And he once sued comedian Bill Maher for saying he’d donate $5 million to Trump’s favorite charity (presumably Toys for Trumps) if Trump could prove his mother wasn’t an orangutan

And apropos of our discussion, he’s also shown a disturbing eagerness for suing—and stiffing—the little guy, whom he regards as anyone below, or above, his current height and weight.

A 2016 USA Today analysis revealed that Trump had been involved in a whopping 4,095 lawsuits over the last three decades, both as a plaintiff and a defendant. And he’s infamously added several more since then.

If he’s not suing business partners to screw them out of their duly earned windfalls, he’s exploiting weaknesses in our legal system to screw contractors out of the money he owes them. After all, suing people is a big part of his business model. 

A separate USA Today article in 2016 took a look at Trump’s self-aggrandizing abuse of our court system, and it was clear that he wasn’t just fucking over big operators like Deutsche Bank. He was using his legal clout (aka money to pay lawyers) to beat up on small businesspeople. 

USA Today:

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

All these suits prompted Slate to wonder last year if anyone in the world has ever been involved in more lawsuits—either as a plaintiff or defendant—than Trump. 

Trump’s large number of legal entanglements is particularly impressive because it’s not exactly easy to bring a lawsuit in the U.S. The legal system is expensive, with a huge assortment of court fees, plus the cost of hiring a lawyer. It also moves pretty slowly. But, somehow, none of that has deterred Trump. “I find it really surprising that Trump is able to pay for this much litigation and that people continue to take the risk of representing him,” said Alexandra Lahav, a law professor at Cornell Law School.

It’s surprising, in part, because Trump has a reputation for not paying his legal bills. One of Trump’s lead lawyers for his second impeachment trial quit just days before it was set to start over a compensation dispute, according to Axios. Trump and his businesses have faced at least 60 lawsuits over unpaid wages, including 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. He’s earned a reputation of stinginess, and his recent federal election filings indicate he’s turning to his presidential campaign for help, spending about $10 million from his Save America PAC to pay for personal legal fees.

It’s not all that surprising, though. For whatever reason, people continually give Trump a benefit of the doubt that he’s never come close to earning. And that may not change until every last human on the planet has been scammed by the dude—one way or another.

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Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link.

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Trump begged Elon Musk to buy Truth Social. That’s not just funny, it’s dangerous

God has had roughly 4,000 years to reload since Sodom and Gomorrah, so it might not be the best idea to put the two worst people on the planet together in the same place—even if that place is Mar-a-Lago. Nevertheless, Trump and aspiring Bond villain Elon Musk have tempted fate at least once, meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, with top Republican donors a little more than a week ago.

That’s been widely reported, of course—as has the fact that Musk reiterated he wouldn’t be donating to Trump or President Biden this cycle. What hasn’t previously been reported is that Trump has been begging Musk for financial favors since at least last summer, even going so far as to ask the multibillionaire if he’d rescue Trump’s social media company, Truth Social, which at the time appeared to be just a few spots ahead of Xwitter in line for the abattoir.

The Washington Post:

Former president Donald Trump asked Elon Musk last summer whether the billionaire industrialist would be interested in buying Trump’s social network Truth Social, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation.

The overture to Musk, whose business empire includes SpaceX, Tesla and the social networking site X, did not lead to a deal. But the conversation, which has not been previously reported, shows the two men have communicated more than was known. The two have had other conversations, too, Trump advisers say, about politics and business.

Of course, Trump would have loved for Musk—or anyone else, for that matter—to buy Truth Social. It’s been losing money, Lilliputian hand over balled-up angry baby fist, and E. Jean Carroll didn’t even have to sue it.

Just check out these sad financials, which were reported in January: 

By the numbers: Truth Social's parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, generated a total of $3.38 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2023.

  • It reports a $49 million net loss during the same period, including around $26 million in Q3.
  • The company's cash-on-hand dwindled to just $1.8 million at the end of September, compared to $2.4 million at the end of June, while its total liabilities climbed nearly 72% to $60.5 million.

Oof. Weird that screeching in all caps about how unfair the world is to gold-plated guys who refuse to return top-secret documents to the government and try to topple Western democracy isn’t somehow more profitable. 

Ah, but this is America, the land of opportunity for wealthy serial business failures. Despite consistently sucking wind, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Goof Social. Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission finally paved the way for a merger between Trump Media & Technology Group and Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company that seeks to partner with Trump’s company.

And despite an 11th-hour lawsuit launched by two of DWAC’s co-founders—who, in the shock of the century, accused Trump of trying to cheat them out of their investment—he stands poised to rake in some badly needed cash. Because it turns out that continually defaming one’s sexual abuse victims and fraudulently running a real estate empire can contribute a lot to one’s operational overhead. 

As The New York Times reports, “If shareholders approve the merger, it would give Trump Media more than $300 million in badly needed cash to keep operating. The deal would also boost Mr. Trump’s net worth by more than $3 billion, based on Digital World’s current stock price.” But last summer, when Trump reportedly proposed the sale to Musk, that merger appeared to be in jeopardy over accusations that DWAC had misled investors. 

Of course, while the impending merger appears to offer Trump a lifeline as he faces tens of millions of dollars in legal fees and fines, Trump’s willingness to cozy up to sketchy rich guys as he campaigns to become head of the government that would, in theory at least, be charged with holding said rich guys accountable, is alarming.

And these two have sniped at each other in the past—Musk once said Trump should hang up his hat & sail into the sunset,” and Trump responded by claiming Musk’s platform was “perhaps worthless.” So the fact that Trump begged Musk for what would have amounted at the time to a financial bailout is particularly concerning. Because it really points up the transactional nature of basically everything Trump does.

Needless to say, Trump will have some serious potential conflicts of interest if he becomes president again. Worse even than President Joe Biden’s financial entanglements after he loaned his son $4,140 to buy a truck.


“It’s pretty scary from an ethics perspective,” said Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel at the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group that has chronicled Trump’s abuses of power and filed lawsuits against him.

You don’t have to look far to find the reasons why. Trump’s first term was riddled with conflicts of interest, and that’s in no small part because of his financial well-being (or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it). At the time that he tried to overturn the 2020 election, he was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, largely stemming from loans to help rehabilitate his struggling businesses, and most of which would be coming due over the subsequent four years. Throughout his presidency, he refused to divest from his businesses, which made millions of dollars in revenue from taxpayers and continued to do work with other countries while he was in office — a practice he indicated he would repeat in a second term.

The fact that he has so many entanglements with big businesses and other nations leaves plenty of room for things to go awry. That’s why a 2020 New York Times exposé uncovering his staggering debt during his first term wasn’t just embarrassing for Trump, who has a tendency to claim he’s richer than he actually is. It also raised fears about how his debt could implicate national security.

National security was pretty much flushed as soon as Trump dumped dozens of boxes of national secrets into the Mar-a-Lago shitter.

But it could always get worse. 

Imagine the kinds of deals a desperate Trump might make while in office—or before then. After all, while the merger between Trump’s company and DWAC will almost certainly go through now, Trump will be barred from selling any of his shares for another six months. And if past is prologue, those shares could be worth less than your Aunt Martha’s Beanie Baby collection by this Christmas.

Is it so hard to imagine, say, Vladimir Putin finding some way to keep Trump afloat in the interim, in exchange for an even sweeter deal on Ukraine? And if not Putin, how about anyone else in a position to leverage a relationship of convenience with a sitting U.S. president?

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

Giving the highest and most powerful office in the land to someone deeply in debt and looking for ways to make back hundreds of millions of dollars he lost in court is a recipe for the kinds of corruption that aren’t theoretical when it comes to Trump. There’s a reason that you can’t get a job in the military or the financial services industry, or even referee a major sporting event, if you have a massive amount of debt. And you certainly aren’t getting a security clearance because you become too big of a target for corruption.

Trump’s corruption has always brought with it a threat to national security because he viewed the office of the president as one of self-service rather than public service. He routinely used his position to give paying customers access to the highest officials in the country. He even allowed three Mar-a-Lago members with no government or military experience to shape his administration’s veterans policies in secret. And his first impeachment revolved around Trump’s use of national security aid to Ukraine as leverage for dirt on his political opponent. Even after leaving office, Trump reportedly shared classified nuclear submarine information with an Australian billionaire who only became a Mar-a-Lago member to ingratiate himself with the American president, paying generously to attend galas Trump would attend, while in private saying Trump does business “like the mafia.”

Despite his financial ups and downs in office, one thing remained remarkably consistent: Trump’s laser focus on using the presidency to line his pockets.

In other words? If you thought Trump was a national security threat now, just wait until the Navy’s Sixth Fleet is dispatched to protect Elon Musk’s secret volcano lair—or destroy it, depending on whether the check clears in time.

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link

The guy who fetches Donald Trump’s Diet Cokes is innocent, after all. And the dude who’s paid tuppence to baste him in the upstairs bath has already been punished enough.

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