Donald Trump Jr. scored a victory on Friday when PNC Financial Services Group Inc. reversed course after inexplicably cutting ties with his news aggregation company, then blaming it on a “good-faith error.”
PNC Bank made headlines Thursday afternoon after Trump Jr. revealed that the “woke” company shut down the bank account for the app he co-founded with Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich — MxM News — “without any explanation”:
BREAKING: Woke @PNCBank just shut down the bank account for my app @mxmnews without any explanation.
The Left doesn’t think you should be able to exist, much less thrive, in society. It should be illegal to discriminate based on political affiliation!!!https://t.co/JMTuVnK68g
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 2, 2023
The two launched the app in 2022, competing with other news aggregation apps such as Apple News. Trump Jr. said the app aimed to “provide curated stories that are being silenced and or suppressed by big tech and the mainstream media.”
Budowich told Fox News Digital that he discovered the bank had severed ties without his knowledge when he visited a PNC branch in the Sunshine State.
“The teller said he was unable to complete the transfers as the account had been closed and balance had been zeroed out,” Budowich said, explaining that a PNC representative ultimately told him that “PNC reserves the right to re-evaluate their business relationships at any time and terminate accounts without cause.”
Fox also obtained PNC Bank’s letter detailing the account’s closure, which stated in part:
Your PNC account has been closed. Enclosed you’ll find a cashier’s check representing the balance of your remaining funds. Here’s what you’ll need to do: Please destroy all unused checks, withdrawal/deposit tickets and any debit card accessing the account.
However, it appears PNC has reversed course, attributing the unexpected account closure to a “good-faith error” and denying that it had anything to do with political affiliation.
“Account closures can occur for a variety of reasons but are never influenced by the political views or affiliations of our customers,” a March 3 statement from PNC reads.
“We’ve looked closely into the circumstances surrounding the closure of the ROCDIGITAL, LLC account and determined it was mistakenly closed due to a good-faith error,” the company claimed.
“We have reopened the account and we apologize for any inconvenience,” it added, replying to Trump Jr. on Twitter:
— PNC Bank (@PNCBank) March 3, 2023
PNC Bank’s reversal follows outrage among Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who deemed PNC Bank’s initial move “outrageous”:
This is outrageous! @PNCBank https://t.co/epwOSOxXv5
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 3, 2023
“A desperate and illegal attempt to silence conservatives. This is unacceptable and unAmerican @PNCBank,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said of the initial news:
A desperate and illegal attempt to silence conservatives.
This is unacceptable and unAmerican @PNCBank. https://t.co/Fex2TKz0EE
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) March 3, 2023
“I bet this boosted @PNCBank’s ESG score… I started the anti-woke caucus to end this sort of cancerous behavior,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) added:
I bet this boosted @PNCBank’s ESG score… I started the anti-woke caucus to end this sort of cancerous behavior. https://t.co/kyeKuNzx5D
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) March 3, 2023