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Some Trump supporters: “Truth Social investing is About Faith in Trump, Not Business”

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Some Trump supporters who invested in his social media company have seen their share values plunge -— and see it as a test of faith.

Investors like Jerry Dean McLain, who put his savings into Trump’s Truth Social venture, remain steadfast despite significant losses in share value. McLain views his investment more as a matter of faith in Trump rather than a purely financial decision. He believes Trump’s involvement will eventually lead to a surge in stock value.

Even as Trump Media & Technology Group’s shares have sharply declined since going public, wiping out billions in value, supporters like McLain remain committed. They see owning Truth Social shares as a symbolic endorsement of Trump’s mission, akin to purchasing Trump merchandise or donating to his campaigns.

Jerry Dean McLain first bet on former president Donald Trump’s Truth Social two years ago, buying into the Trump company’s planned merger partner, Digital World Acquisition, at $90 a share. Over time, as the price changed, he kept buying, amassing hundreds of shares for $25,000 — pretty much his “whole nest egg,” he said.

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That nest egg has lost about half its value in the past two weeks as Trump Media & Technology Group’s share price dropped from $66 after its public debut last month to $32 on Friday. But McLain, 71, who owns a tree-removal service outside Oklahoma City, said he’s not worried. If anything, he wants to buy more.

“I know good and well it’s in Trump’s hands, and he’s got plans,” he said. “I have no doubt it’s going to explode sometime.”

For shareholders like McLain, investing in Truth Social is less a business calculation than a statement of faith in the former president and the business traded under his initials, DJT.

“There’s not another company out there that has retail investors like this,” said Nunes, who this year will receive a $1 million salary, a $600,000 retention bonus and a stock package currently worth $3.7 million.

The business side of Trump’s media venture has struggled, with substantial losses in revenue compared to expenses. Truth Social, the centerpiece of this venture, has attracted minimal user traffic. However, for many investors, owning Trump-related stock is a point of pride, demonstrating their loyalty beyond other forms of support.

Despite challenges, Trump Media highlights strong retail investor support and its financial stability, contrasting itself with traditional tech companies. This grassroots backing is underscored by CEO Devin Nunes, who emphasizes their unique investor base.

Investors like Todd Schlanger, undeterred by recent declines, remain committed for the long term, convinced that the drop in stock value is politically motivated. They continue to buy shares, buoyed by their faith in Trump’s enduring influence and the potential of Truth Social.

In an interview last month with conservative commentator Sean Hannity, the former Republican congressman recounted a recent discussion with Trump where the men celebrated having “opened up the internet and kept it open for the American people.”

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“I’ll never forget the conversation we had,” Nunes said. “He said, ‘You know, once we’re all dead and gone, this will last forever.’”

Many of Truth Social’s investors say they’re in it for the long haul. Todd Schlanger, an interior designer at a furniture store in West Palm Beach who said Trump had been one of his customers, said he’s invested about $20,000 in total and is buying new shares every week.

Schlanger said he now watches his stock performance every day hoping for positive signs. In a Truth Social post last week, he encouraged “everyone who supports Donald Trump and Truth [Social to] buy a share every day” and asked, “Do you think we have hit bottom?” (The stock slid nearly 10 percent after that post.)

He suspects the recent drops in share price have been the result of “stock manipulation” from an “organized effort” to make the company look bad. There’s no proof of such a campaign, but Schlanger is convinced. “It’s got to be political,” he said, from all the “liberals that are trying to knock it down.”

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