Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., purchased as much as $50,000 in stock of the company that plans to merge with former president Donald Trump’s new media firm, the congresswoman disclosed in a filing on Tuesday.
Greene, an ardent Trump supporter, on Friday purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 in shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. The firm is a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, created to buy another business and give it a stock-market listing. Digital World trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker “DWAC.”
Digital World’s stock price swung widely on Friday, opening at $118.79 per share and rising as high as $175 per share. At its lowest, a share in Digital World sold for $67.96 that day. It is not clear what price Greene bought the shares at.
On Tuesday, when Greene disclosed the purchase in a congressional filing, the stock closed at $59.07 per share. On Wednesday, it closed at $64.89. The disclosure was first noted by congresstrading.com, which tracks stock purchases by members of Congress.
Since news of Digital World’s proposed combination with Trump’s company, the “meme stock” had been the subject of posts on the Reddit channel WallStreetBets, a forum where day traders have seized on stocks like GameStop and AMC.
Trump Media and Technology Group said last week that it would merge with Digital World as it announced the development of a new social media platform called Truth Social. Trump said in a statement that the network would “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.” The former president was booted from Facebook and Twitter after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The chief executive of Digital World, Patrick Orlando, said last week that “given the total addressable market and President Trump’s large following, we believe the [Trump Media and Technology Group] opportunity has the potential to create significant shareholder value.”
Other social media platforms, including several targeted at conservatives, have tried, largely unsuccessfully, to chip away at the hold that Facebook and Twitter have in the United States. Parler was briefly popular after Trump was forced off Twitter and Facebook, but it was shuttered for weeks by Amazon, which pulled its cloud support over concerns that the platform was not doing enough to moderate incitements to violence. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
Trump has been planning Truth Social, which is set to launch in November in beta form and in full next year, for months. After the launch of his blog, “From the Desk of Donald Trump,” was deflated by low readership, he told his advisers he was concerned that the underwhelming performance could cast doubt on the platform he wanted to create, The Washington Post previously reported.
His new company also plans to launch a streaming service that offers “‘non-woke’ entertainment programming, news, podcasts, and more.”
Before it was publicly released, Truth Social was already the subject of online trolling. The site was briefly accessible to the public after the announcement last week, allowing people to claim usernames. One account, under the username “donaldjtrump,” posted a photo of a pig defecating. A Post reporter was able to register and post under the username “mikepence.”
The platform, which appears to be the main focus of Trump’s new media company, bears significant resemblance to Twitter – the platform that paved the way for Trump’s rise to the presidency and defined his four years in office. On Truth Social, users can post “Truths,” like tweets, and “Re-Truths,” like retweets.
Greene, a conspiracy theorist whose rise to political power came with the aid of Trump allies, has repeated the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.” On Twitter, from which she has been suspended several times, she describes herself as “Pro-Life Pro-Gun Pro-Trump.”
“Tell me who’s your president?” Greene asked a crowd at an “America First” event in Florida in May. “Donald Trump!” the crowd replied.
Greene won her seat representing Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, a reliably Republican part of northwest Georgia, in 2020.