Former President Donald Trump’s Twitter knockoff Truth Social has stiffed a contractor in the latest sign of financial “disarray” at the troubled social network, according to Fox Business.
Truth Social, which is led by former Rep. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is in a “bitter battle” with RightForge, the network’s web host and one of its largest suppliers, according to the report, over $1.6 million in unpaid bills. .
The company struck a deal with Truth Social in October. Sources told Fox Business that Truth Social has only made three payments and hasn’t paid anything since March. The company is now threatening legal action unless it is paid, the report said.
RightForge CEO Martin Avila did not deny the report, but told the outlet he would not comment on “any private matters.”
“RightForge believes in the mission of President Trump’s free speech platform and wants to continue to support the president in his media efforts,” he said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Truth Social likewise did not deny the allegations.
Trump and his companies have a long record of tightening contractors. “Trump never pays his bills,” tweeted Jeff Jarvis, a media professor and blogger.
RightForge, which aims to provide right-wingers with alternatives to Silicon Valley products, previously announced big plans for Truth Social. Avila told Axios last year that the company was “laying the groundwork” for Truth Social to compete with Twitter and have more than 75 million users.
“If you believe the president should be de-platformed, we believe you’re not really interested in living in a free country,” he told the outlet. “And that’s really what we’re about, is making sure that America stays true to its core ideas, and that the marketplace of ideas stays open.”
But less than a year later, the company is accusing Truth Social of breach of contract.
The network had a disastrous launch as users were plagued by technical glitches, outages and an extended waiting list. Truth Social’s planned merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), has been delayed indefinitely amid questions about its financial health. The blank-check company faces a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into whether it illegally negotiated the Truth Social deal before it went public. The company was also subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in New York last month amid a Justice Department investigation into the merger.
The investigations upended the two sides’ business plans. Digital World said the investigations “could materially delay, materially impede or prevent the completion of the business combination.”
In an SEC filing this week, the company set a Sept. 6 shareholder meeting to determine whether to extend the deadline to finalize the merger and warned it could go under if the merger isn’t completed, according to CNBC. The company warned in the filing that Trump’s mounting scandals threaten to harm the deal.
“If President Trump becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility or the desire of people to use a platform associated with him and from which he will benefit financially, [Trump Media’s] results of operations, as well as the outcome of the proposed business combination, may be adversely affected,” the filing said.
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Shares of Digital World have fallen more than 42% since the start of the year.
Despite Trump’s big plans for the company, Digital World said in May that it was far from certain that the venture would succeed.
“There is no operating history on which to base any assumption as to the likelihood that [Trump Media] will be successful and [Trump Media] may never generate any operating income or ever achieve profitable operations. If TMTG is unsuccessful in addressing these risks, its business will most likely fail,” Digital World said in a regulatory filing, adding that Truth Social is not yet generating revenue and may not until at least next year.
Trump also complained about his app’s absence from the Android app store, with the app only available on iOS devices.
“Is Google trying to f**k me?” He questioned in the spring, according to Rolling Stone , though a source told the outlet at the time that Truth Social hadn’t even submitted an app for Google to review because it was still in development.
The former president suffered another setback after the US Patent and Trademark Office denied his application to trademark “Truth Social.” The office determined that the company’s name is “confusingly similar” to the social media platform Vero – True Social and the Truth Network, a Christian radio network.
“Ideally,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben, who brought up the filing, told Axios, “you’d pick a name where that’s not going to happen.”
about Truth Social’s woes