Sam Bankman-Fried Was Willing to Pay $5 Billion to Donald Trump to Not Run for the Re-Election
The former CEO of bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, considered an offer for Donald Trump that nobody could refuse. The accused fraudster was willing to pay $5 billion to the former president so he wouldn't run for re-election. According to the biographer Michael Lewis, the indicted entrepreneur wondered if it was legal to make such a proposal.
The former billionaire was once a donor to the Republicans and the Democrats. In a recent "60 Minutes" interview that aired on Sunday, October 1, 2023, Lewis, the author of the book Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, revealed the businessman had a potential figure in mind.
Lewis said, "So he did get an answer." The offer was worth a billion dollars, as per the author. "There was a number that was kicking around. And the number that was kicking around when I was talking to Sam about this was $5 billion," he added. However, it's unclear if the proposal was actually sent out to the 77-year-old, nor if the figure came from Trump himself.
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It was reported that Bankman-Fried considered Trump's presidency an "existential threat to humanity," therefore, he explored the possibility of paying the Republican candidate so he refused to run for the 2024 elections. Lewis further shared the insides of Bankman-Fried's proposal and life.
According to Lewis, the former CEO's "team had somehow created a back channel into the Trump operation and returned with the not terribly Earth-shattering news that Donald Trump might indeed have his price: $5 billion. Or so Sam was told by his team," as reported by The Daily Beast. The biographer added that the alleged bribe was still in conversation when FTX collapsed in November 2022.
Michael Lewis reports that Sam Bankman-Fried considered paying Donald Trump not to run for president. He even got a number: $5 billion, but never learned if it was a serious figure that came from Trump himself. https://t.co/WtGO1TPP4A pic.twitter.com/WeKCNByiTk— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) October 1, 2023
As to why it didn't happen? Because he was a bankrupt CEO and fittingly, Bankman-Fried didn't have $5 billion anymore. It was also unclear if Trump was ever willing to negotiate the amount with the indicted businessman, charged with several fraud cases and scheduled to appear in Manhattan Federal court for his trial on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
When the host asked if the offer was happening for real, Lewis quipped, "That only shocks you if you don't know Sam." The 31-year-old entrepreneur spent a big chunk of his wealth on political donations. He donated $40 million to the Democrats during the 2022 midterm elections.
However, he also admitted he was a 'large Republican donor.' Previously, Bankman-Fried allegedly made more than 300 illegal political donations in the name of FTX staffers, according to the court documents, as per the New York Post. Prior to the doom of his cryptocurrency, he was the second-largest donor to Democratic candidates.
Currently, Bankman-fried is facing charges in the Manhattan court. The ex-billionaire applied for bail; however, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his request, citing he was a flight risk. So far, the former CEO has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of fraud and conspiracy stemming from FTX's collapse in November 2022.
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