Fact check: Trump tells ‘mind-bogglingly nonsensical’ story about the New York Stock Exchange


Former President Donald Trump told a story on Monday in which he claimed that he decided not to list the Trump Media & Technology Group on the New York Stock Exchange, even though the exchange “badly” wanted the company, because businesspeople are “treated too badly in New York” and “don’t want to be attacked by a thug like this horrible attorney general that we have in New York.”

There is one problem. The story does not make any sense.

Facts First: The stock exchange on which the Trump Media & Technology Group is being listed, the Nasdaq, is also headquartered in New York. In fact, the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange are located in the same New York City borough of Manhattan. In other words, all of the New York laws and political oversight that would have applied to the company if it was listed on the NYSE will apply to the company when it is listed on the Nasdaq.

“It’s just mind-bogglingly nonsensical,” Jonathan Macey, a Yale Law School corporate law, corporate finance and securities law professor, said of Trump’s story.

Macey repeatedly laughed while discussing the story in an interview. He said it would be the equivalent of someone claiming that, to avoid persecution in New York, they were going to avoid shopping at Macy’s in New York but instead would shop at the Bloomingdale’s store next door in New York. He said: “Like, what?”

“I hope somebody advising President Trump informs him that the same investor protection rules that safeguard investors of the New York Stock Exchange also safeguard investors on the Nasdaq Stock Market,” Macey said.

Trump, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told the story during a press conference in which he denounced New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for bringing legal cases against him. (You can read more here about the day’s major developments in those cases.)

He claimed that “the people at the stock exchange are very, very upset” that he decided against listing the company on the NYSE and that “the top person is mortified, can’t believe it.” And he said of this supposed NYSE official: “He said, ‘I’m losing business because of New York – because people don’t want to be in New York and they don’t want to go on the New York Stock Exchange.’ So you can ask them about it,” he said.

The “top person” at the NYSE, however, is not a “he.” The president of the NYSE since 2022, Lynn Martin, is a woman, as is her predecessor Stacey Cunningham. And the NYSE board is chaired by a woman, Sharon Bowen.

A NYSE spokesperson declined to comment about Trump’s account of the supposed conversation. The spokesperson did say the exchange would welcome Trump’s company.

“America’s capital markets are the envy of the world and investors benefit from more, not fewer, companies listed on public exchanges. New York should be open for business for all types of capital formation. With regard to Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump Media and Technology Group, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has declared their business combination effective and we would welcome the company for listing on the New York Stock Exchange,” the spokesperson said.

The company, which owns social media platform Truth Social, is scheduled to begin trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Baseless claims about Biden and his trials

Trump also repeated some familiar baseless claims about his legal cases.

Trump claimed that “this is all Biden-run things” and that “these are all Biden trials.” He also claimed that Matthew Colangelo, a former senior Justice Department official who now works for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, had been “put into” the district attorney’s office by President Joe Biden.

He was speaking after a New York judge set an April 15 date for the beginning of his Manhattan criminal trial on charges of falsifying business records in relation to a hush money scheme, and, separately, an appeals court reduced the bond he must put up after being found liable for civil fraud.

Facts First: There is no basis for Trump’s claims. First, there is no evidence that Biden has been involved in bringing or running any of the criminal or civil cases against Trump; the Manhattan prosecution is being led by Bragg and the civil fraud case by New York Attorney General Letitia James, both elected officials who do not report to the president or the federal Justice Department. Second, there is no evidence that Biden had anything to do with Colangelo’s decision to leave the federal Justice Department and join the district attorney’s office in 2022 as senior counsel to Bragg. Colangelo and Bragg knew each other before Bragg was elected Manhattan district attorney.

No evidence for Trump’s claims about Biden

James filed the lawsuit that led to Trump’s civil fraud trial in September 2022 – about two months before Trump launched his 2024 campaign. The lawsuit emerged from an investigation she began in 2019, roughly two years before Biden succeeded Trump as president. And there is no sign that Biden has had any role in bringing criminal charges against Trump in Manhattan or Fulton County, Georgia; those prosecutions have been led by elected local district attorneys.

Trump’s two federal indictments, meanwhile, were brought by a special counsel, Jack Smith. Smith was appointed in November 2022 by Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Biden appointee, but that is not proof that Biden was involved in the prosecution effort, much less that Biden personally ordered the indictments as Trump has previously claimed; Garland has said that he would resign if Biden ever asked him to take action against Trump but that he was sure that would never happen.

It’s worth noting that grand juries made up of ordinary citizens – in New York, Georgia, Florida and Washington, DC – approved the indictments in each of Trump’s four criminal cases.

Colangelo’s move

Trump has also provided no evidence for his repeated claims that Biden orchestrated Colangelo’s 2022 move from the Justice Department to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Colangelo and Bragg previously worked at the same time in the office of New York’s attorney general, where Colangelo investigated Trump’s charity and financial practices and was involved in bringing various lawsuits against the Trump administration.

Colangelo served as acting associate attorney general in the first months of the Biden administration in early 2021 and then as principal deputy associate attorney general. As acting associate attorney general, he was third in command of the department – never the top official there, as Trump has previously claimed.

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