An ex-top executive for former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social media company is now working as a Starbucks barista, making $16 an hour.
“It’s an honest day’s work,” Will Wilkerson told the Washington Post of his new gig in North Carolina.
Wilkerson, 38, provided 150,000 emails, contracts, and other documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), along with investigators in Florida and New York are examining Trump’s Media and Technology Group.
In 2022, Wilkerson claimed that Trump’s company broke SEC laws and said he could not stay silent while some of the company’s inventors remain loyal to Trump. Shortly after, Wilkerson was fired by the company, which accused him of “concocted pyschodramas.”
Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Truth Social’s first CEO, has since sued Wilkerson for defamation in a Florida circuit court, claiming he suffered “anxiety, “insecurity,” “mental anguish,” and “emotional distress” resulting from Wilkerson’s comments.
In a March 2023 interview with Fox Business, Nunes called all federal agencies in Washington, D.C., including the SEC, “corrupt.”
Wilkerson served as the executive vice president of operations for Trump’s media company and as co-founder of Truth Social. He said Truth Social suffered from infighting and technical difficulties as executives fought for Trump’s approval.
“One day, you know, [Trump] would be in a very, very happy mood,” Wilkerson said. “The next day, he would read something in the paper and just yell, just be livid. That’s who we were dealing with.”
The emails Wilkerson provided investigators with included an exchange between fellow Truth Social co-founder Andy Litinsky, who was allegedly fired for refusing to hand over some of his shares, worth millions of dollars, to former First Lady Melania Trump.
Trump acquired 90% of Truth Social’s shares in exchange for using his name and involvement.
Wilkerson said that after his firing, he applied for hundreds of jobs. Starbucks called Wilkerson a day after he submitted his resume.
He is now a Starbucks barista and trainer inside a Harris Teeter grocery store in North Carolina, working as early as 5:30 a.m.
“I love what I do,” Wilkerson said.
“I made the conscious decision. I knew the risks … especially in regards to retaliation,’’ he said of his whistleblower actions. “But I don’t think I could have sat back and stayed quiet, even if I was compensated handsomely for doing so.
'I knew the risks': Whistleblower executive who handed feds 150,000 docs about Trump's Truth Social now works as Starbucks barista for $16 an hour 🤪
* Will Wilkerson was fired as an executive VP at Donald Trump's Truth Social after giving 150,000 emails and documents to federal… pic.twitter.com/P2tY8zZFLr
— 1776 (@TheWakeninq) April 30, 2023
“I’m here, and I’m not going away,’’ he told the Washington Post. “Ultimately, you know, I just want to do what’s right.”
If the SEC punishes Truth Social, Wilkerson could earn millions of dollars through the agency’s whistleblower reward program.
Wilkerson’s whistleblowing case is another legal challenge Trump has to deal with while he runs for president in 2024.