Devin Nunes Pretty Sure Trump Won't Dump Him Once Elon Musk Wrecks Twitter. He's Fine. Totally Fine.
The news that Elon Musk will let Donald Trump back on Twitter if and when he actually buys the platform has hit Devin Nunes hard. The former congressman-turned-CEO of Trump's Truth Social platform was already crying in his feed about the failure of the MAGA social media venture to topple its bigger rivals. And it had to chap his udders that Trump spent months refusing to post on his own site because “He wants it to be a hit first.”
"Look, we’re very supportive of what Elon is saying," Nunes said. "The question is, will he accomplish what he’s saying, dealing with all the employees, dealing with all the algorithms. But the goal has been for us, for President Trump, is to give the American people their voice back, and open the internet back up, and that's what we're trying to create.
"I would just add, though, I think there's an important point that's lost on people: Truth Social is wide open right now in the Apple app store, and you don’t have to ask anyone’s opinion. There’s no big tech tyrant that can cancel you, you don’t have to go to a billionaire to ask permission. You’re let on: Democrat, Republican, whoever you are. And we’re not going to censor you for political speech, so we are accomplishing what the mission of our company is, which is to get this internet open back up, and we're glad that Elon is saying the right things. Let's see if he backs that up."
It's not yet in the Google store, because it's still a janky piece of crap. And while "there's no big tech tyrant that can cancel you" on Truth Social, there does appear to be someone there banning accounts for such thought crimes as making fun of Devin Nunes.
“I think you even said on your business show about a month ago that it's a house of cards. So for them to say they only have 5% that are bots and fake accounts, I think it's closer that they may only have 5% that are actually real people and real accounts," he said, referring to a bizarre theory floated by Musk over the weekend that "over 90% of daily active users" on Twitter might be bots.
(As of this writing, the tech CEO's pinned tweet is instructions on how to get a chronological Twitter feed, rather than curated via algorithm, and he just tweeted a poop emoji at Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. So this is fine.)
But Devin got some good news in an SEC filing by Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), in preparation for its merger with Trump Media & Technology Group, Trump's media juggernaut that is theoretically going to put Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube out business, and which is the parent company of Truth Social. The document contains a clause labeled the “DJT/TMTG Social Media 6-Hour Exclusive," under which Trump has theoretically agreed not to cross-post the same content to Truth Social and Twitter at the same time, effectively giving Truth a six-hour exclusive on Trump's live tweets of "Fox & Friends."
Of course, he could simply change the phrasing slightly and get around the prohibition. (For instance, "You're fired, Devin!" could become "Devin Nunes is no longer an Employee of TMTG. Sad!") Or he could take advantage of the caveat allowing him to "post social media communications from his personal profile that specifically relates to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts at any time on any Non-TMTG social media platforms." After all, "political messaging" is kind of a broad catch-all for a guy who'll be running for president. Or he could just post the content directly to Twitter and bypass Truth altogether, LOL.
The filing is pretty funny, not least because of all the ways it contorts itself to disclose that the company plans to accommodate Trump and his proclivity to break shit, so the SEC can't say potential investors weren't warned.
Gallant corporate owners are expected not to tarnish the company brand. With Goofus, the bad behavior is pretty much baked in.
TMTG has entered into a license agreement with President Trump wherein neither the personal nor political conduct of President Trump, even if such conduct could negatively reflect on TMTG’s reputation or brand or be considered offensive, dishonest, illegal, immoral, or unethical, or otherwise harmful to TMTG’s brand or reputation, shall be considered a breach of the license agreement. TMTG expressly acknowledges the controversial nature of being associated with President Trump and the possibility of any associated controversies affecting TMTG adversely.
Meanwhile, in a section captioned "Risks Related to our Chairman President Donald J. Trump," TMTG's legal team has tried to cover all the ways shit could go sideways with Trump's manic hands on the rudder. Noting that many people have "adverse reactions to publicity relating to President Trump," the filing admits that "according to The Hill, only 30% of people surveyed would use a social media site associated with President Trump." On the flipside, there's a distinct downside to tying your entire brand to a septuagenarian who thinks exercise other than golf depletes the body like a battery.
Here's the section on Trump's "numerous lawsuits and other matters that could damage his reputation, cause him to be distracted from the business or could force him to resign from TMTG’s board of directors":
Also he tends to go bankrupt a lot and, hey, did they mention they can't terminate their relationship with him because "neither the personal nor political conduct of President Trump, even if such conduct could negatively reflect on TMTG’s reputation or brand or be considered offensive, dishonest, illegal, immoral, or unethical, or otherwise harmful to TMTG’s brand or reputation, shall be considered a breach of the license agreement"?
Oh wait, they did.
On the plus side, Devin's making $750,000 per year, plus a bonus if he hits his mark (hahahaha), and he gets to work with his old pal Kash Patel, who is also a director. So that's a bit of a sweetener for this massive cow pie.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.