Donald Trump’s new social media company forecasts it may have 81 million users by 2026 – or nearly 7 million more people than voted for him in the 2020 election and, as it happens, the same number that voted for the winner, Joe Biden.
The projection was filed on Monday with securities regulators by Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC), the company trying to bring Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) to the stock market.
DWAC said at the weekend it had lined up $1bn in promised investments for the new venture, from unnamed institutional investors.
On Monday, it also said its venture with Trump had attracted scrutiny from regulators.
Trump launched TMTG in October, unveiling plans for a messaging app called Truth Social, meant to rival Twitter and other platforms that banned Trump after the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.
Trump remains in legal jeopardy arising from both his lie that his defeat by Biden was caused by electoral fraud – which stoked the attack on Congress, around which five people died – and his financial affairs.
His own personal worth has plummeted and the Trump Organization faces investigations in New York over its financial and tax affairs.
But Trump remains a vocal presence in national politics.
On Monday he was in the headlines for an attack on the US press – which he called “crooked bastards” – in remarks to a conservative group at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night.
In a rambling speech, Trump also said “big tech” was “horrible” and had “taken away our press, they have taken away a voice”.
Trump continues to send out statements, his chosen method of communication in lieu of the tweets by which he used to conduct much of his business.
In statements on Monday, Trump continued to complain about the revelation by his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, first reported by the Guardian last week, that Trump returned positive and negative Covid tests three days before his first debate with Biden last year.
The DWAC filing included a copy of the presentation it used to pitch investors and analysts on the Trump project.
DWAC said it was cooperating with “preliminary, fact-finding inquiries” by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Financial Industry Regulation Authority asked in late October and early November for a review of trading in DWAC stock before the merger deal was announced on 20 October.
That announcement sent shares of DWAC surging from $9.96 to $94.20 as Trump supporters and investors piled in. The shares have since pulled back to roughly $43.
The SEC made a request in early November for documents related to meetings of DWAC’s board, trading policies and other things.
According to DWAC, the SEC request said the commission’s “investigation does not mean that the SEC has concluded that anyone violated the law or that the SEC has a negative opinion of DWAC or any person, event, or security”.