When former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company went public this week, supporters and investors betting on Mr. Trump’s political success helped drive the value of a loss-making firm through the roof. Mr. Trump ended the first day of public trading $4.6 billion richer on paper.

If Mr. Trump is elected president, it may not be the last time the company is used as a vehicle to benefit Mr. Trump’s pocketbook, experts said.

Trump Media & Technology Group — the owner of Truth Social, the site Mr. Trump uses to rally his backers and blast his opponents — could present a new, fairly straightforward route for foreign leaders or special interests to try to influence him. Should he retain his control of the company while in office, the ethical questions that arose from Mr. Trump’s hotels and other properties in his first term as president would only multiply when applied to a publicly traded media company, they said.

“This will be a very easy vehicle for foreign governments that want to curry favor with the president to throw money at him in a way that benefits his financial bottom line,” said Jack Goldsmith, a law professor at Harvard University and a top Justice Department official under President George W. Bush.

Corporations and other players wanting to sway Mr. Trump could buy advertising on Truth Social, other experts said. They could try to get on his radar by buying shares in the company. As the nation’s leader whose every utterance is monitored around the world, Mr. Trump would also be in an extraordinary position to drive traffic — and ultimately revenue — by the habitual use of the site.

Ethics experts see few legal obstacles to these scenarios. Presidents are not covered by federal conflict-of-interest law, and efforts to use constitutional checks failed during Mr. Trump’s first term.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

The Iowa State Fair Continues Friday, as Republican Candidates Seek a Moment

The butter cow is carved. The pork chops are prepped. And the…

Inexpensive Add-on Spawns a New Era of Machine Guns

Caison Robinson, 14, had just met up with a younger neighbor on…

Company Recalls Ice Cream Products Over Listeria Contamination Concerns

An ice cream company based in Brooklyn has issued a recall of…

Trump Indictment Presents New Obstacle in Spending Fight as Shutdown Looms

The political furor over the indictment this week of former President Donald…