A supposed “whistleblower” who tried to take down former President Donald Trump’s social media website Truth Social is now working as a barista at Starbucks after being fired for his antics.
While Truth Social has been immensely popular among conservatives and anti-establishment figures, it appears that one former employee was not happy about the social media platform.
Will Wilkerson was “the executive vice president of operations for former president Donald Trump’s media business, a co-founder of Trump’s Truth Social website and a holder of stock options that might have one day made him a millionaire,” according to The Washington Post.
He has since fallen from that position of power and now works at a Starbucks inside a Harris Teeter grocery store in North Carolina. The left-wing outlet notes that Wilkerson “works 5:30 a.m. shifts in a green apron and slip-resistant shoes, making Frappuccinos for $16 an hour.”
Wilkerson, 38, is just the latest in a line of attention-seekers who tried to take down Trump. He claimed that the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) was giving misleading information to small investors, and ended up turning over roughly 150,000 internal documents — including emails and contracts — to the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal investigators in New York and Florida.
For his efforts, executives at Truth Social accused him of having “concocted psychodramas,” and subsequently fired him.
“It’s an honest day’s work,” Wilkerson told the Washington Post, referring to his new job. “I love what I do.”
He went on to say that he knew “retaliation” against him was a risk — and claimed that he did “what’s right.”
“I made the conscious decision. I knew the risks … especially in regards to retaliation,” Wilkerson said. “But I don’t think I could have sat back and stayed quiet, even if I was compensated handsomely for doing so.”
“Ultimately, you know, I just want to do what’s right,” he added.
The so-called whistleblower has a chance at a big payout for his actions, but is also facing some serious financial risk.
If the SEC takes action against TMTG over the allegations and collects sanctions, Wilkerson could make some money — but he is also being sued for defamation in a Florida circuit court by TMTG CEO Devin Nunes, a former California congressman.
According to The Washington Post, the Starbucks employee “could be eligible to make millions of dollars through the agency’s whistleblower reward program, depending on the amount of assessed penalties.”
The outlet also notes that Wilkerson is far from a nameless figure, as his grandfather, Billy Wilkerson, was a “controversial legend: The founder of the Hollywood Reporter, and owner of some of the Sunset Strip’s most famous nightclubs, he had been a chief instigator of the anti-Communist Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s that came to define America’s red scare.”
The Washington Post also described how Wilkerson came to work for Trump, noting that he “helped draft the company’s first plan for ‘Trump’s New Media Empire.’”
He “was part of the team that pitched Trump over cheeseburgers at Mar-a-Lago, his opulent Palm Beach estate, three weeks after the insurrection,” the Post reported, adding: “They promised Trump an online platform where he would never be silenced, canceled or fact-checked. What’s more, Wilkerson said, they offered him 90 percent of the company without him having to invest a single cent.”
However, Wilkerson supposedly changed his mind about the project last year — claiming that he was concerned about the risk it posed to small-time investors. Thus, he contacted the SEC via a whistleblower tip form in August — then spoke with the Washington Post and the Miami Herald. He was then fired over making “unauthorized disclosures” to the Post.
Twitter users have blasted Wilkerson for his actions, with one critic writing: “Sounds like he was trying to sink the ship instead of building it.”
Sounds like he was trying to sink the ship instead of building it.
— Moore George MD (@MooreGe50793151) April 30, 2023
Others have questioned how Wilkerson qualifies as a whistleblower when his actions essentially amount to “corporate espionage.”
How is corporate espionage considered "whistleblowing" ?
— keyboard jockey (@keyboardjockey1) April 30, 2023