top of page
  • Associated Press in Washington

Buy Twitter, ban Trump: former CIA agent tries to crowdfund $1bn purchase

Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Iages

Valerie Plame Wilson says Trump’s tweets ‘damage the country and put people in harm’s way’ but a majority stake in company would cost about $6bn.

The former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter, so Donald Trump can’t use it.

Wilson launched the fundraiser last week, tweeting: “If @Twitter executives won’t shut down Trump’s violence and hate, then it’s up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump.”

The GoFundMe page for the fundraiser says Trump’s tweets “damage the country and put people in harm’s way”.

As of Wednesday morning, she had raised less than $6,000 of her $1bn goal. By Thursday morning, the total had risen to more than $40,000.

Trump spent Thursday morning tweeting criticism of congressional Republican leaders and attacks on the media and retweeting a meme that showed him “eclipsing” Barack Obama.

In an emailed statement, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the low total showed that the American people liked the Republican president’s use of Twitter.

“Her ridiculous attempt to shut down his first amendment is the only clear violation and expression of hate and intolerance in this equation,” the statement read.

Wilson wrote on the fundraiser’s GoFundMe page that she hopes to raise enough money to buy a controlling interest of Twitter stock. If she doesn’t have enough to purchase a majority of shares, she said, she will explore options to buy “a significant stake” and champion the proposal at Twitter’s annual shareholder meeting.

If Plame were to hit her $1bn goal, she would still fall far short of gaining a controlling interest in the company. As of Wednesday, a majority stake would cost roughly $6bn. But a $1bn stake would make her Twitter’s largest shareholder and give her a very strong position to exert influence on the company.

Twitter declined to comment on Wilson’s tweet about seeking to buy the company.

Wilson’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in George W Bush’s administration in 2003, in an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, a former diplomat who criticized Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. She left the agency in 2005.

In a 2011 film, Fair Game, she was played by Naomi Watts. Her husband was played by Sean Penn.

bottom of page