Sam Bankman-Fried, the previous CEO of cryptocurrency change FTX, reportedly mulled providing Donald Trump $5 billion to dissuade the U.S. forty fifth president from operating for workplace once more in 2024.
The revelation comes from Michael Lewis, creator of “The Huge Quick” and his new guide on the disgraced cryptocurrency change founder, “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” the place he delves into the rise and fall of Bankman-Fried and FTX.
In keeping with Lewis, Bankman-Fried even sought to search out out the potential value of such a proposition.
“That solely shocks you if you do not know Sam,” Lewis mentioned in an interview with CBS Information’ 60 Minutes aired on Sunday. “Sam’s pondering, ‘We may pay Donald Trump to not run for president. Like, how a lot would it not take?'”
In keeping with Lewis, who gained all-hours entry to the disgraced crypto mogul, Bankman-Fried noticed Trump as somebody attempting to undermine democracy, pondering that he “belongs on the record of existential dangers.”
Furthermore, there was a selected determine mentioned for Trump’s withdrawal from the elections.
“The quantity that was kicking round after I was speaking to Sam about this was $5 billion,” acknowledged Lewis, including that SBF “was undecided that quantity got here immediately from Trump.”
Lewis additional asserted that SBF was desirous to fund Republican candidates at odds with Trump and even approached “essentially the most unlikely of allies”—Republican Senate minority chief Mitch McConnell—and “they have been nonetheless having these conversations when FTX blew up” in November 2022.
“So why did not it occur? He did not have $5 billion anymore,’ mentioned Lewis.
Decrypt has reached out to the workplaces of each Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell with media inquiries and can replace the article ought to we hear again.
Sam Bankman-Fried’s political donations
Earlier than the FTX collapsed final yr, Bankman-Fried had been a major political donor to each Republicans and Democrats, contributing greater than $70 million to election campaigns in lower than 18 months.
He personally contributed a minimal of $40 million to politicians and political motion committees main as much as the 2022 midterm elections. A considerable portion of those contributions went to Democrats and liberal-leaning organizations.
In consequence, he ranked because the second-largest general donor to Democrats behind George Soros solely.
Bankman-Fried additionally donated a major quantity to fundraising committees and tremendous PACs affiliated with each events, together with a $6 million contribution to the Home Majority PAC, the principle exterior group supporting Home Democrats.
Bankman-Fried did make donations to Republicans as nicely. Nevertheless, the exact quantity of his contributions to Republican causes is just not disclosed, as they have been made as undisclosed “darkish” donations.
In keeping with the political finance monitoring web site Open Secrets and techniques, “darkish cash” refers to spending meant to affect political outcomes the place the supply of the cash is just not disclosed.
Nevertheless, SBF admitted to giving an equal quantity to Republicans as he did to Democrats, so his complete political contributions could have truly been round $80 million.
The FTX founder, who is about to go on trial this week, is going through eight counts of conspiracy and fraud, together with an allegation that he violated marketing campaign finance legal guidelines
His firm, now beneath the management of CEO John J. Ray III, has been attempting to claw again the donations made by Bankman-Fried and different FTX executives, for the reason that finish of final yr.