Sam Bankman-Fried Floated ‘Coming Out’ as a Republican on Tucker Carlson After FTX Collapse

Sam Bankman-Fried Floated ‘Coming Out’ as a Republican on Tucker Carlson After FTX Collapse

Are you a billionaire in trouble? Why not try coming out as a Republican and fully pivoting into very public complaints about the “woke agenda?” That’s precisely what Sam Bankman-Fried was thinking, according to newly released notes made by the crypto fraudster after FTX’s stunning collapse in 2022.

SBF is scheduled to be sentenced later this month after he was found guilty of fraud last year for extracting billions of dollars from his crypto exchange. Federal prosecutors want SBF to spend 40-50 years in prison, according to a legal filing made public on Friday. But that same filing has some absolutely fascinating Google Doc notes made by SBF himself.

The doc includes a note at the top reading, “these are all random probably bad ideas that aren’t vetted; CONFIDENTIAL.” But they wound up in the hands of prosecutors anyway, labeled as Exhibit C in the filing from Friday.

SBF wrote that he should appear on Tucker Carlson’s show (misspelled as “Carlsen”), which was at the time the biggest hit on Fox News. Carlson was fired in April 2023 and now has his own web-based show on X.

SBF also floated the idea to “come out against the woke agenda,” using a right-wing phrase that’s hard to define. Essentially, anything American conservatives don’t like can be labeled “woke,” from beer to baseball teams.

Notes made by Sam Bankman-Fried after the collapse of FTX that were made public by prosecutors in a filing on Friday, with highlights made for emphasis by Gizmodo

Notes made by Sam Bankman-Fried after the collapse of FTX that were made public by prosecutors in a filing on Friday, with highlights made for emphasis by Gizmodo
Screenshot: U.S. District Court in Manhattan

The ideas also included having a friendly interview with his biographer Michael Lewis or putting out a Twitter poll about what to do. SBF also thought perhaps it would be wise to come out as “pro crypto, pro freedom.” Again, it seemed like he really wanted to lean into becoming a Republican, as you can see in the full notes below.

Image for article titled Sam Bankman-Fried Floated 'Coming Out' as a Republican on Tucker Carlson After FTX Collapse

Screenshot: U.S. District Court in Manhattan

SBF spent years in the lead up to FTX’s collapse selling himself as a left-leaning philanthropist unconcerned with material things. The notes help us see inside SBF’s thought process, where the crypto “genius” filled his brainstorming document with a flurry of buzzwords that would signal he’s got a completely new brand.

SBF’s heel turn shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention in late 2022, as he tested the waters with a handful of different public relations tactics, like the bumbling boy genius routine he attempted during a New York Times interview with Andrew Ross-Sorkin. And SBF actually tried some of the ideas in these notes, including the idea of pointing out he’d secretly given money to Republicans.

It’s not like SBF was the first guy in the world of tech to come up with the idea of going “anti-woke” as a way to rally defenders. Elon Musk made the exact same shift in recent years. But it’s rare that the public gets to see a brainstorming document that lays it all out so cynically. Good work, boy genius.

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