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United States

Ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson crowdfunds to buy Twitter so she can delete Trump’s account

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 3:02pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 10:17pm

Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter so US 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 evening, she had raised about US$32,000 of her US$1 billion goal.

In an emailed statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the low total showed 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 US$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 US$6 billion. But a US$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 US President George W. Bush’s administration in 2003 in an effort to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson, a former diplomat who criticised Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. She left the agency in 2005.