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Jeff Yass just bought Trump. Here’s what he stands to gain.

The right-wing billionaire and TikTok investor is about to help the former president add billions of dollars to his net worth. This is what oligarchy looks like.

By

Billionaire investor Jeff Yass is playing his Trump card.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday that the right-wing megadonor and major TikTok investor is a part owner of the company that merged with Donald Trump’s media company, which owns Truth Social, the former president’s struggling social media platform. The head-scratching deal stands to add billions of dollars to Trump’s net worth.

Yass’ name recently started popping up in news reports after Trump denounced legislation in Congress that could ban TikTok unless the social media outlet is sold from its China-based parent company. This was a major reversal of Trump’s previous opposition to TikTok and came after Yass met with Trump in Florida, with the backdrop of the former president’s mounting legal fees only adding to suspicion that Yass essentially could be purchasing a presidential candidate.

Trump claimed afterward that he hadn’t spoken with Yass about TikTok, and Yass is a major backer of efforts to promote school privatization, so I guess it’s possible that the right-wing billionaire didn’t say a thing about one of his most prominent investments. (Yass recently declined a request for comment from NBC News.)

But it certainly looks like Trump is under Yass’ thumb now.

It also looks like TikTok — or at minimum,?one of its key investors — has just tried to one-up other social media companies in Big Tech’s ongoing battles over influence in Washington. Two years ago, The Washington Post revealed that Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, had waged a behind-the-scenes pressure campaign that involved trying to get media outlets and lawmakers to scrutinize TikTok more heavily. And although Meta can’t take total credit, that effort does seem to have helped get us to the present-day scenario, with a possible TikTok ban under consideration at the federal level and several other bans enacted at the state level.

With Trump, Yass appears to be employing the oligarchic approach to protecting an investment: transfer heaps of cash to a desperate presidential candidate and hope they do your bidding.

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