Unveiling a novel, if oddly circuitous attempt to shut up President Donald Trump on his favorite social network, former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson has launched a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising enough money to buy Twitter so she can then ban Trump from using it.
The blonde ex-spook 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.”
From the campaign:
Donald Trump has done a lot of horrible things on Twitter. From emboldening white supremacists to promoting violence against journalists, his tweets damage the country and put people in harm's way. But threatening actual nuclear war with North Korea takes it to a dangerous new level.
It’s time to shut him down. The bad news is Twitter has ignored growing calls to enforce their own community standards and delete Trump's account. The good news is we can make that decision for them.
Twitter is a publicly traded company. Shares = power. This GoFundMe will fund the purchase of a controlling interest in Twitter. At the current market rate that would require over a billion dollars — but that's a small price to pay to take away Trump's most powerful megaphone and prevent a horrific nuclear war.
And the punchline: "Let's #BuyTwitter and delete Trump's account before he starts a nuclear war with it. The whole world will thank us when we do!"
Plame's pitch is simple: raise enough cash to buy a controlling interest of Twitter stock. If, on the "odd chance" Plame is unable to raise 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.
Considering that her campaign's stated goal is only $1 billion, a (very) minority stake is the best the former CIA agent can hope for. As of Wednesday, a majority stake would cost just over $6 billion (TWTR's market cap is $12.33 billion). Still, a billion dollars of TWTR shares would make her Twitter’s largest shareholder (or rather bagholder) and give her a dominant "activist" position to exert influence on the company. Of course, whether kicking Trump off Twitter is worth the hassle is a different question, especially since anyone who wishes not to follow Trump can do so for free.
Another problem is that almost a week into the campaign, it has raised just under $8,000, meaning it is about $999,992,000 shy of its lofty goal.
The White House responded to the campaign, and in a statement to the AP, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the low total shows that the American people like the 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 White House read.
As a reminder, Plame’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in former President 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.
Some cynics have dared to speculate that Plame's campaign is just a (not so) veiled attempt to regain social and media prominence. It is unclear if their Twitter accounts will also be banned by the up and coming CEO. It's also unclear what happens to the raised cash once the campaign fails to reach its target, although we are confident Jill Stein has some ideas...