Donald Trump's Team Sought Stake in Gab But Was Rejected, CEO Andrew Torba Claims

The CEO of social media site Gab has claimed he rejected a proposal in January to have former president Donald Trump on the platform.

Andrew Torba, who founded the service in 2016, said that representatives of the former president's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner made the pitch: equity in the business in exchange for Trump to sign up and post his opinions to the site.

As first reported by Forbes, Torba said that he had declined the telephone call proposal immediately, saying: 'No, I'm not entertaining that."

And it didn't sound likely the CEO would change his mind in the future. He added: "Gab's not for sale. There's no amount that would get me to sell. Zero."

Sharing the Forbes story on his Gab profile this week, Torba wrote: "As I have said many times, [Trump] is welcome to join Gab anytime and speak freely. But Gab is not for sale and under no circumstances will Gab change our free speech policies, Mr. Kushner."

Gab is broadly pitched as a conservative-friendly alternative to mainstream social sites such as Twitter or Facebook, and its looser moderation policies has left it an attractive option for right-wing personalities, conspiracy theorists and white nationalists.

It's website describes Torba as a "Christian technology entrepreneur" who launched it after seeing a rise in censorship from other platforms during the 2016 election.

There is an account for Donald Trump on the website already, but Torba has previously said the profile is not used by the former president himself.

In February, Torba accused Kushner of "actively trying to keep Trump off Gab" and said the Trump Gab account was just a mirror archive of public statements.

"We've always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it. The only reason he's not using it right now to contact his base is because dopey advisers like Jared Kushner, who lost him the election, are blocking him from using it," Torba wrote, confirming the Trump profile is run by Gab.

Trump was permanently suspended by Twitter on January 8 "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" in the wake of the Capitol riot two days prior.

His Facebbook profile was locked for 24 hours on January 6. The next day, the blocks on his Facebook and Instagram were extended indefinitely, and remain in place.

Buzzfeed News reported on February 5 that members of Trump's campaign, including former manager Brad Parscale, approached another social media platform, Parler, with a similar offer: asking for a stake in the company in exchange for Trump joining.

That deal never went though and Parscale told Buzzfeed at the time the president "was never part of the discussions," and claimed they were "never that substantive."

While Trump remains banished from social media, speculation has surged over the past few days that he may soon return via his own platform. Senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News last weekend that Trump could pull in "tens of millions of people."

"I think that we're going to see President Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months here, with his own platform," Miller claimed to Fox News. "And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media."

A request for comment to Gab's listed press information on Wednesday resulted in a bounce-back email. Trump's representatives have been contacted for comment.

Donald Trump CPAC
Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. The CEO of social media site Gab has claimed he rejected a proposal in January to have former president Donald Trump on the platform. Joe Raedle/Getty Images