“He’s dangling his money to get Trump to flip on TikTok” Billionaire Donor May Have Exploited Trump to Protect TikTok Investment

 “He’s dangling his money to get Trump to flip on TikTok” Billionaire Donor May Have Exploited Trump to Protect TikTok Investment

© AP Photo / Evan Vucci

Donald Trump might have been taken advantage of by a billionaire donor who is attempting to protect his investment in the TikTok social media company, according to journalist Gabriel Sherman. Jeff Yass, a billionaire investor, and his privately held company, Susquehanna International Group, own a 15-percent stake in ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.

Recently, President Joe Biden signed legislation that would force ByteDance to either sell TikTok to an American owner or face a ban from the U.S. market. In response, Yass has turned to Trump for assistance. Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman discussed this situation on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” He pointed out that Jeff Yass, who is based in Pennsylvania and is the largest political donor this election cycle, has not yet contributed to Trump’s campaign.

Sherman highlighted Yass’s significant investment in TikTok and suggested a connection between Trump’s recent support for the platform and a potential donation from Yass. Sherman argued that Trump’s actions are driven not by ideology or policy but by personal and financial gain.

“This is what’s fascinating,” Sherman said. “Jeff Yass came up through the world of professional gambling, that’s kind of his framework for investing, and in gambling you always try to play the sucker, right? So Jeff Yass has gotten Donald Trump to flip his position on TikTok to support his investment without having to donate to the campaign. I mean, who’s the sucker here?”

“He’s not given, and as I reported in my piece, his team says he doesn’t plan to give,” Sherman said. “He has all the leverage over Donald Trump. He’s dangling his money to get Trump to flip on TikTok.”

During his presidency in August 2020, Trump attempted to ban TikTok but later reversed his stance. This change of heart came after a March meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Yass, who had previously advised Trump against running for re-election and supported Republican primary challengers with millions of dollars.

Sherman explained that Jeff Yass’s background in professional gambling influences his investment strategy, where the goal is to exploit the “sucker.” Sherman implied that Yass managed to get Trump to reverse his position on TikTok to protect his investment without needing to donate to Trump’s campaign, questioning who the real “sucker” is in this scenario.

Additionally, Susquehanna holds the largest institutional investment in Digital World Acquisition Corporation, which recently merged with Trump’s struggling social media company. Although the firm denied that its stake was politically motivated, Sherman suggested that Yass was betting on Trump’s need for campaign funds to maintain his support for TikTok.

During the discussion, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski expressed incredulity and laughed, highlighting the irony in Trump’s portrayal of himself as a master businessman. This situation illustrates how Trump’s political maneuvers might be influenced by efforts to secure financial backing, revealing the intricate connections between politics and personal gain.

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