Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) gave his first interview with “citizen journalist” Tiffany Fong post-collapse.
The pair discussed multiple aspects of the FTX saga, including the “backdoor,” FTT as collateral, and his regrets. But of particular interest were SBF’s comments on dark money donations made to Republican politicians.
Some speculate this link is a factor in the lack of criminal proceedings against him. For example, lawyer John E. Deaton questioned why authorities have failed to respond, calling the criminal justice system “compromised.”
Let me make this clear if SBF isn’t arrested and charged with fraud, wire-fraud, theft, and possibly money laundering before and instead gets to spew out his bullshit narrative, our system of justice has been compromised. @ewarren you claim to be for the little guy, where are you https://t.co/cdmOa7U0an
— John E Deaton (@JohnEDeaton1) November 23, 2022
However, based on Fong’s interview, it seems SBF has more political clout than first thought.
Sam Bankman-Fried played both sides
In recent months, Fong’s investigations into Celsius, and now FTX, have earned her a reputation for sound investigative journalism.
During the 20-minute interview, the issue of political donations cropped up, with SBF saying he donated “about the same amount” of money to both parties. Further, donations to the Republican party were “dark.”
“I donated to both parties, I donated about the same amount to both parties… All my Republican donations were dark.”
Explaining why he chose this route, SBF said it was not for regulatory reasons. Rather, it was to quell the potential backlash from left-biased news outlets.
“It’s because reporters freak the f*ck out if you donate to Republican. They’re all secretly liberal and [I] didn’t want to have that fight, so I made all the Republican ones dark.”
Chiming in on the disclosure, YouTuber Coffeezilla aka Stephen Findeisen, said there was a lot to unpack with SBF’s comments.
Firstly, referring to SBF’s now infamous tweet in which he said “FTX is fine,” Coffezilla said he is skeptical about whether the former CEO is telling the truth. Nonetheless, whether he is lying or not, it is a lose-lose situation for SBF.
Sharing his insights, Coffeezilla said it goes to show that SBF has no political agenda, only that he wanted to be powerful and to be seen to care, “that’s why he played both sides.”
“If he’s lying, this looks bad for him. But if he’s telling the truth it looks worse. It shows you how cynical Sam was. He never cared about politics. He cared about power and perception”
Coffeezilla continued by saying this mindset is about “trying to craft an image.” With the generous billionaire image in tatters, SBF is now trying to deflect the criminal narrative into one of “the smart guy who made an embarrassing mistake.”