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Former CIA agent wants to buy Twitter to kick Trump off, turns to crowdfunding

Valerie Plame Wilson is aiming to raise $1 billion for her campaign and has received less than $6,000 till Wednesday.

world Updated: Aug 24, 2017 08:23 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Washington
Twitter,Donald Trump,Donald Trump Twitter use
Former US CIA Operations Officer, Valerie Plame Wilson launched an online fundraiser on August 18, looking to raise enough money to buy the social media platform.(AP File Photo)

Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter so President 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 $1 billion goal.

In an emailed statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the low total shows that the American people like 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 $1 billion goal, she’d still fall far short of gaining a controlling interest in the company. As of Wednesday, a majority stake would cost roughly $6 billion. But a $1 billion 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 Wednesday on Wilson’s tweet about seeking to buy the San Francisco-based company.

Wilson’s identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in 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.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 08:23 IST