Whistleblower fired from Trump’s Truth Social after turning over docs now makes $16-an-hour at Starbucks
A former top executive at Donald Trump’s Truth Social media company who was booted for becoming a whistleblower is back to the daily grind — as a $16-an-hour Starbucks barista.
“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 internal documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and probers in Florida and New York who are examining Trump’s Media and Technology Group.
The federally protected whistleblower last year claimed Trump’s company broke securities laws and said he could not stay silent while some of its honchos misled investors, including small-time shareholders loyal to the former president.
The company fired Wilkerson shortly after, accusing him of “concocted psychodramas” but declined to address his specific claims, according to the report.
Former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, the Trump firm’s CEO, has since sued Wilkerson for defamation in a Florida circuit court, with Nunes claiming he suffered “anxiety,” “insecurity,” “mental anguish” and “emotional distress” as a result of the ex-worker’s comments.
Wilkerson was the executive vice president of operations for the former president’s media business and a co-founder of Trump’s Truth Social website.
He said Truth Social — launched as a rival to Twitter — suffered from infighting and technical snafus as executives vied for Trump’s favor.
“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 that Wilkerson eventually turned over to investigators included an exchange between the then-top employee and fellow co-founder Andy Litinsky, who was allegedly fired as payback for refusing to hand over some of his shares, worth millions of dollars, to former First Lady Melania Trump, according to the outlet.
Trump acquired 90 percent of the company’s shares in exchange for the use of his name and his involvement.
Wilkerson said that after his firing, he applied for hundreds of jobs.
Starbucks called him back the day after he submitted his resume.
He is now a certified barista trainer at a Starbucks inside a Harris Teeter grocery store in a North Carolina suburb, working 5:30 a.m. shifts in a green apron, the outlet reported.
“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’m here, and I’m not going away,’’ he told the Washington Post. “Ultimately, you know, I just want to do what’s right.”
Still, “obviously, I don’t shout from the rooftops here about my past history and my whistleblower status,’’ Wilkerson acknowledged.
If the SEC punishes Trump’s company, Wilkerson could make millions of dollars through the agency’s whistleblower reward program.
Trump Media spokeswoman Shannon Devine, asked about the Washington Post’s piece, said, “This report lazily regurgitates already discredited hit pieces, defamatory allegations, and false statistics about Truth Social’s record levels of traffic.”
Wilkerson’s whistleblowing case is just another in a list of Trump’s legal woes as the GOP ex-commander in chief makes another bid for the White House.
Trump was recently indicted by a Manhattan grand jury over hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 elections.
He also faces probes over taking classified documents when leaving office and his role in the Jan.6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol.
In addition, Trump is currently facing a civil trial from Jean Carroll, who accused him of raping her in the spring of 1996.
Trump has denied wrong-doing in each case.