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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Donald Trump last month was pitched on launching a multi-billion dollar media and technology company built around his personal brand, with the idea that it could go public via a SPAC.

Behind the scenes: The 24-page presentation made its way to Trump's desk at Mar-a-Lago, although it does not seem to have gained traction with the former president.

  • One individual listed as being part of the proposed management team says he is no longer involved, while another says he was never affiliated with the effort.

The idea: Trump Media Group — headed by Trump as its CEO, chairman and president — is referred to in the pitch deck as "a conservative media powerhouse that will rival the liberal media and fight back against 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley."

  • It was to be comprised of three divisions: Trump+ (a subscription-based content business that gets compared to Netflix and Disney+), Trump Social Media (which would take a stake in existing companies or build its own), and Trump Technologies (which would provide alternatives to internet services like AWS and Stripe, and promise not to censor customers).
  • It forecast a base case valuation of $15 billion, with Trump+ alone at $9.2 billion.
  • It also suggested that TMG would go public, and presumably raise capital, via a SPAC. No mention of other funding sources, including if Trump would be asked to invest.

The bottom line: While this particular proposal seems dead in the water, it offers a glimpse into the sorts of business endeavors being presented to Trump, who has expressed interest in building a new media company.

Go deeper

Trump to fight release of tax returns to Congress

Former President Trump during a July rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

An attorney for former President Trump told the Wall Street Journal Monday he intends to fight a Department of Justice order to release his tax returns to the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee.

Driving the news: The DOJ said in a memo to the Treasury Department last Friday that the committee had a "legitimate legislative purpose" to access the returns. A judge has asked the parties to provide a time frame for written arguments by Wednesday, the WSJ notes.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker