Trump speaks after guilty verdict: live updates

Jason Karaian

Credit…Bridget Bennett for the New York Times

For former President Donald J. Trump, bad news can often be good because it brings his most loyal supporters to his side. The same goes for many investors in Trump Media & Technology Group, the social media company in which he is the largest shareholder.

Shares of Truth Social’s parent company fluctuated between gains and losses on Friday, a day after a New York jury convicted Mr. Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal.

The company’s stock is generally volatile, so large moves are not unusual. Despite this, recent trading has been remarkable: the stock fell as much as 14 percent in after-hours trading immediately after the verdict was announced Thursday evening, then rallied to open higher Friday morning before sinking again , down about 5 percent.

Since its market debut in March, Trump Media has become the primary source for news on Mr. Trump’s wealth. On paper, his majority stake in the company is worth more than $5 billion, but he can’t sell or borrow those shares until September.

On Truth Social, which became Mr. Trump’s personal megaphone to denounce critics, many users rallied to his defense. Some were also investors in Trump Media, who said they bought more shares to show support for Mr. Trump.

One poster read: “We are all disgusted by this sham verdict and want to live in a world with a better, stronger America, which is why we are donating to the Trump campaign and buying stock.” Another said the stock purchase was “the only peaceful protest we have left.” As of Friday morning, some of the trending discussion topics on Truth Social were: “Trump2024,” “MAGA,” and “IStandwithTrump.”

Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign immediately began fundraising following the guilty verdict, and some of those ads appeared on Truth Social. Many have described Mr. Trump as a “political prisoner.”

Trump Media is highly valued relative to the size of its business. The company is worth more than $8 billion in market value, despite significant losses and modest revenue from advertising on Truth Social. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported revenue of $770,000, down 30% from the same period last year.

In recent weeks, the company has repeatedly complained about “apparent manipulation” of its shares and criticized bearish investors known as short sellers who take advantage of a stock’s fall. He urged delegates and regulators to open investigations into the matter.

Regulatory filings by Trump Media have long warned investors of the risk that Mr. Trump was convicted in one of four criminal cases filed in his state and federal courts. A recent filing stated: “An adverse outcome in one or more of the ongoing legal proceedings in which President Donald J. Trump is involved could have a negative impact” on the Truth Social company and platform.

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