- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2022

The clock is winding down for former President Donald Trump’s business partners to secure an extension for his social media startup deal, as a deadline looming next week threatens to upend Truth Social’s plans for the future.

Digital World Acquisition Corp. is asking stockholders to approve an extension of its merger with Mr. Trump’s team to September 2023 at a meeting happening on Monday, Oct. 10.

Failure to secure the extension may deprive Mr. Trump’s business of more than $1 billion in expected funding, but the former president said Saturday his platform will survive regardless of whether the merger occurs.

“If they don’t come up with the financing, I’ll have it private,” Mr. Trump said at a rally in Michigan. “Truth Social is hot.”

Previous efforts to secure the extension last month did not succeed and some investors are reportedly seeking better terms from DWAC, the special purpose acquisition company.

Investors representing approximately $138.5 million of the funding pulled their support last month, according to a DWAC regulatory filing. Those investors are negotiating for better terms to ensure their profits, according to the Financial Times.

Mr. Trump’s pledge to keep his business private is not the only option if his business partners’ financing evaporates. Mr. Trump’s team could court another special purpose acquisition company or look for a merger with another business, however, pressure from the Biden administration may scare away potential partners.

Trump Media & Technology Group’s planned merger with DWAC has faced mounting regulatory scrutiny. DWAC said last year that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority were probing its business.

Mr. Trump on Saturday faulted the SEC for targeting his business and causing challenges for the startup deal.

“By miraculous coincidence, but you have to hear this, the head of the SEC was the chief financial officer of crooked Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Mr. Trump said at the rally. “I said, ‘Who is he? He doesn’t seem to be very reasonable.’” 

SEC chair Gary Gensler served as chief financial officer of Mrs. Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign.

DWAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The SEC and Trump Media & Technology Group declined to comment.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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