In a recent interview, Michael Lewis, the author of “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” unveiled a startling revelation about former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. According to Lewis, Bankman-Fried considered the possibility of paying Donald Trump to refrain from running for the United States presidency.
During the interview on 60 Minutes, Lewis shed light on the book’s content, emphasizing that Bankman-Fried’s contemplation shouldn’t come as a surprise to those familiar with his character. Lewis shared, “Sam’s thinking that we could pay Donald Trump not to run for president […] like how much would it take?” He further disclosed that the figure discussed at the time was a staggering $5 billion, although it remained uncertain whether this amount had been directly communicated to Donald Trump.
Furthermore, Lewis mentioned that Bankman-Fried had explored the legality of such an endeavor. However, the plan did not materialize due to Bankman-Fried’s financial constraints as he no longer possessed the $5 billion required for such an arrangement.
According to Lewis, Bankman-Fried perceived Trump as a potential threat to democracy in the United States, categorizing him as belonging to the list of existential risks. The author had spent over 70 days in the Bahamas in 2022, forging a close relationship with Bankman-Fried. Describing the aftermath of FTX’s collapse in November 2022, Lewis likened it to the remnants of Pompeii, with abandoned belongings and employees hastily departing.
In light of the upcoming high-profile trial against Sam Bankman-Fried scheduled to commence on October 4, Cointelegraph reached out to the legal representatives of both Bankman-Fried and Donald Trump. Mark Botnik, responsible for communications in the SBF case, declined to comment on behalf of Bankman-Fried’s legal team.
The trial involves seven fraud cases against Bankman-Fried, including two substantive charges and five conspiracy charges, with jury selection commencing on October 3.