Trump defends Truth Social over ‘fake news’ he owes $1.6M and calls for FBI agents to come forward


Donald Trump went to bat for his alternative social media site Monday morning, claiming in a Truth Social post that the platform is ‘our voice’ and urging his supporters to sign up.

Reports reveal a string of difficulties since the website’s launch, including accumulating $1.6 million in debt and an impending legal battle and being turned down for a trademark application.

But the former president claims these reports are just ways for the media to bring down Truth Social, which he insists is ‘quite on cue’.

Instead, he pointed to the 550 percent increase in downloads in the week following the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier in August. The search led to a spike in popularity for the site and emboldened Trump’s supporters just three months ahead of the 2022 midterms.

The former president also reiterated his push for FBI agents to come forward regarding the raid. 

‘TRUTH IS OUR VOICE!!! Sign up today,’ Trump posted to Truth Social at 2:08 a.m. Monday. 

Donald Trump tore into ‘fake news’ about a string of difficulties facing his Truth Social platform after reports emerged he owed $1.6 million to the hosting service and his trademark application was denied

How Truth Social has faced string of problems since its launch 

Trump’s app launched in the Apple Store in February 2022 and was conceptualized after he was permanently banned from Twitter following the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack.

It is promoted as an alternative social media site from big tech platforms like Twitter, and Facebook that offers a free speech platform that doesn’t censor or discriminate against different views.

After the official launch on February 21, there were about 2 million downloads on the Apple App Store in the US in the first two weeks.

But long wait times to get onto the site  and frequent outages led to a fall off in downloads, with critics labeling it a ‘disaster’.

Downloads recovered in late April when people waiting for months to get onto the app finally started receiving access.

The site has also suffered from legal disputes, with federal regulators investigating whether the holding company coordinated illegally with the Trump Media & Technology Group.

Others have accused the site of being a platform for far-right extremists. 

Reports claim that Truth Social hasn’t paid web-hosting service RightForce since March and has accumulated debt of $1.6 million. 

Digital World Acquisition Corp., a SPAC that Truth Social planned to merge with in order to go public are facing serious legal problems and regulatory probes. It is under investigation by the SEC for possibly negotiating the deal prior to going public. 

Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), led by former California Representative Devin Nunes, signed a deal with RightForge, which targets itself at conservative causes, to host Truth Social.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused Trump’s application for Truth Social, finding two other companies have similar names and the trademark grant would create a ‘likelihood of confusion.’

The patent office said the name of the company was too similar to Vero – True Social, an app-based social media platform, and the Truth Network, a Christian radio broadcast network.

They wrote in their filing that ‘the dominant wording TRUTH and TRUE communicate the same idea of being honest or emphasizing fact while networking socially’.

‘Moreover, both marks also contain the wording SOCIAL meaning they look and sound similar generally outside of a small variation of TRUTH,’ the office continued. ‘Because the marks are similar and the goods and services are related, there is a likelihood of confusion as to the source of applicant’s goods and services, and registration is refused pursuant to Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.’

Trump has until February 2023 to respond to the filing.

Three people familiar with the dispute also claim that Trump’s tech company has not made any of its monthly payments to web-hosting service RightForce since March, and wracked up a lengthy debt sheet.

Now RightForge is preparing to take legal action, according to Fox Business.

‘Our founding vision is to make a second internet to support American ideas online,’ RightForge chief executive Martin Avila said in a statement, while declining to comment on the claims themselves.

‘RightForge believes in the mission of President Trump’s free speech platform and wish to continue supporting the president in his media endeavors.’

Truth Social did not return a request for comment. 

Trump claimed Saturday afternoon: ‘The Fake News Media is devastated by how well TRUTH is doing so, quite on cue, they are working overtime to criticize and demean it.’ 

Trump's Truth Social was launched in February, but now owes $1.6 million to a company providing web hosting

Trump’s Truth Social was launched in February, but now owes $1.6 million to a company providing web hosting

Some three million people have now downloaded Truth Social, but the company behind it faces investigations by financial regulators

Some three million people have now downloaded Truth Social, but the company behind it faces investigations by financial regulators

‘Actually, many of the big guns in Washington, D.C., are fighting to stop the TRUTH but, they won’t be successful,’ he insisted. ‘They are going after the outside financial company, and virtually anybody that walks and breaths, but that won’t do it.’

‘They said it is doing worse since the Raid, but actually it is doing MUCH better, up more than 550%. We all love TRUTH!!!’

The platform was launched in February to provide a mouthpiece for the former president, who was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Since then, he has used it to keep up a steady stream of commentary on midterm races, Joe Biden’s performance and the raid on his Florida home.

However, it has failed to draw a big audience – and its numbers are far short of mainstream platforms like Twitter, Facebook and even far-right site Gab, which sees tens of millions of monthly users. 

It also faced a string of early technical issues, like long wait times to gain access to the website, which slowed download and user rates substantially.

Some industry experts point out that it is still not available to users of Android phones – a system that is more popular with Trump fans than iPhones.

But the structuring of the company could prove even more problematic.

Truth Social is owned in part by TMTG, a holding company which ultimately aims to move into streaming and other online services.

The download rate jumped by 550 percent, according to Data AI

The download rate jumped by 550 percent, according to Data AI

Authorities stand outside Mar-a-Lago the day after the FBI raid, which came in relation to a probe into whether Trump took from the White House when he left office

Authorities stand outside Mar-a-Lago the day after the FBI raid, which came in relation to a probe into whether Trump took from the White House when he left office

But plans for it to go public by merging with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, have been postponed indefinitely.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and a Justice Department grand jury have launched investigations, amid allegations that the two companies may have broken merger rules.

Both companies say they are cooperating with the probes. 

Trump himself faces a string of legal difficulties.

Most recently, FBI agents recovered boxes of classified documents from his Florida home, as the Department of Justice probes the removal of hundreds of files from the White House when Trump left office.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk