SBF Considered Paying Trump $5 Billion to Avoid Presidential Run
Former FTX CEO Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried considered paying Donald Trump not to run for president of the United States, according to Michael Lewis, author of a new book chronicling SBF’s rise and collapse.
In an Oct. 1 interview with 60 Minutes, Michael Lewis, author of Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, discussed the erstwhile crypto billionaire and FTX founder.
The book reveals, as one of its revelations, that SBF considered compensating Donald Trump not to run for president. “That only surprises you if you don’t know Sam,” Lewis said, before adding:
“Sam’s thinking that we could pay Donald Trump not to run for president […] like how much would it take?”
“The rumored figure was $5 billion,” he said, adding that SBF was uncertain if this figure originated directly from Donald Trump. According to Lewis, SBF was also investigating its legality, and “they were still having these conversations when FTX blew up.”
It simply did not occur because Bankman-Fried no longer had $5 billion, he added. According to Lewis, SBF believed that Trump was attempting to undermine democracy in the United States and therefore “belongs on the list of existential risks.”
In 2022, Lewis spent over 70 days in the Bahamas on a dozen separate occasions to visit SBF, and the two became close. “I would stay in spare bedrooms, so I had access codes to every room, including the penthouse,” he explained to The Wall Street Journal.
About the aftermath of the collapse of FTX in November 2022, he stated:
“It was like the aftermath of Pompeii. Clothes and belongings left behind, frozen in time. Many headed to the airport leaving company cars with the keys inside at the curb.”
According to the trial schedule calendar released last week, jury selection for the high-profile Bankman-Fried trial will commence on October 3, 2022.
The trial commences on October 4. The trial will consist of seven fraud cases against SBF, two substantive charges for which the prosecution must persuade the jury that Bankman-Fried committed the crime, and five conspiracy charges.