LOADING

Type to search

Tech

Donald Trump being courted by Twitter alternative Gettr — run by his ex-adviser

Share

Former President Donald Trump hasn’t made any new social media accounts since he was kicked off Twitter and Facebook earlier this year — but that’s not stopping alternative free speech-focused platforms from trying to recruit him. 

Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump who is now CEO of a Twitter alternative called Gettr, told The Post he’s been having discussions with Trump for months about joining the platform, which says it’s signed up 2.5 million users since coming online in June. 

Miller wants to get Trump on Gettr with the idea that if the former president is a member, millions of his fans will follow.

Trump hasn’t agreed to sign up — yet. Far from the days of lending his name to vodka, steaks and ties, the former president wants to “make sure it’s a viable platform” before joining, Miller told The Post.

Gettr currently looks like a bare-bones version of Twitter, but Miller says the platform plans to add features like direct messaging and live-streaming in the coming months. Gettr Pay, an alternative to Apple and Google Pay, is expected next year.

Trump also wants something else as a condition of joining, according to an Axios report last month: equity in Gettr. Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Former Trump senior advisor Jason Miller is trying to get his old boss to join GETTR.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Miller wouldn’t confirm that report, but said talks with the ex-president have progressed since August. He declined to provide details. He spoke to The Post over a steak lunch at a restaurant near Gettr’s New York headquarters. It’s located in flashy clothing brand Versace’s former offices on the 20th floor of 3 Columbus Circle. (The gilded flourishes left behind from the former tenant might appeal to Trump’s similarly flashy tastes.)

Gettr has received funding from Guo Wengui, a businessman who fled China in 2014 and is close with fellow ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon. It also has other unnamed backers and has raised about $75 million so far, the company says. Miller told The Post he has recently been speaking with potential investors overseas, including in Latin America and Europe. 

Gettr is not the first platform to court the former president.

Parler, another free speech-oriented alternative to Twitter and Facebook, gained traction among conservatives in late 2020 before crashing and burning when Amazon Web Services banned the company in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots, leaving its app unusable for a month. Trump reportedly considered joining Parler but balked when the company refused to censor his critics, New York Magazine reported

GETTR has struggled with content moderatoin issues.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Gettr also relies on Amazon Web Services to provide the technology that undergirds its site, but Miller said it has a backup plan to avoid an extended Parler-like outage if Amazon cuts off the company.

As part of its “free speech” ethos, Gettr has avoided censoring some controversial content. While YouTube has banned much “anti-vax” content, Gettr allows such content on its site, according to Miller, who had to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask in order to enter the restaurant where he met with The Post. 

And Miller is looking to set Gettr apart from rival pro-Trump platforms by making it more international in scope. Miller already persuaded Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to sign up and is pushing other global right-wing populist figures to join.

The CEO traveled to Europe in September to recruit politicians including French anti-immigration media figure Éric Zemmour, who is widely considered to be a leading candidate in the country’s 2022 presidential election.

Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is on GETTR.
AFP via Getty Images

Miller also met with Marion Maréchal, another conservative political figure in France who is the niece of Marine Le Pen — as well as Nigel Farage, a former member of the European Parliament and an architect of Brexit.

So far, Zemmour, Maréchal and Farage don’t appear to have signed up.

But running a social media company doesn’t just entail sexy tasks like flying across the world to hobnob with politicians.

Miller said he’s spent much of his time as CEO dealing with content-moderation issues, including a flood of Jihadist execution videos reported by Politico and child pornography flagged by Stanford University researchers in August.

Gettr says it’s addressing these issues and beefing up its content-moderation teams, which are made up of contract workers overseas. Miller didn’t say exactly how many moderators are employed by Gettr, but said the company has about 300 total employees and full-time contractors around the world, including 50 in New York.

Looming over Miller’s conversations with Trump is the possibility that the former president will run again in 2024 — a prospect the ex-adviser says is increasingly likely.

Miller said he’s told Trump that he would only quit his job to work on Trump’s campaign after the ex-president joins the platform, brings on millions of users and helps push the company through to a successful initial public offering. If that doesn’t happen, Miller says he would expect to advise Trump’s campaign in a part-time capacity.

If Trump doesn’t run, Miller predicts Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. As for DeSantis, he appears to have joined Gettr in July.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *