Parler, the “free speech” focused social network that attracted many right wing and extremist voices, remains offline several days after the company’s board canceled its CEO. The site is staying in the news, however, as a BuzzFeed News report cites documents that apparently show negotiations between the Trump Organization and Parler over a deal to make the site his primary social network.
While the former president utilized Twitter directly, and his campaign relied heavily on Facebook throughout both presidential elections, he never officially joined Parler. Why he didn’t take his talents to a friendlier environment, even after being deplatformed by the major social networks and admitting to negotiations with other sites, was unclear but this may fill in some of those gaps.
While BuzzFeed’s report doesn’t reveal direct involvement by Trump himself, the documents they saw show Parler offering a 40 percent stake in the company if he would post content to its platform hours ahead of the others. The talks are said to have occurred last summer during the campaign, and again in November after the president lost his attempt at re-election.
Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is quoted saying the president wasn’t involved with the discussions, however legal experts cited claim that if it had happened, taking an ownership stake in exchange for exclusivity could have violated anti-bribery laws.