Billionaire Peter Thiel intends to donate $1.25 million to the Trump presidential campaign, according to an inside source. The New York Times reports that Thiel will make the donation to Trump through a combination of direct donations and Super PACs.
Earlier in the year, Thiel was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention, where he talked about American prosperity and stated his support for Donald Trump.
“I’m Peter Thiel. I build companies and I’m supporting people who are building new things, from social networks to rocket ships. I’m not a politician. But neither is Donald Trump. He is a builder, and it’s time to rebuild America.”
“We don’t need to see Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails: her incompetence is in plain sight. She pushed for a war in Libya, and today it’s a training ground for ISIS. On this most important issue Donald Trump is right. It’s time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country.”
And while Thiel’s donation to Trump remains officially unconfirmed, it puts him right near the top of a very short list of private contributors to the Republican Presidential nominee, behind Robert and Rebekah Mercer of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, who donated $15.5 million, and Geoffrey Palmer, a developer from L.A. who has given $2 million. He comes in just ahead of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, which has donated $1 million.
Spokespeople for Trump and Thiel declined to comment.
According to Ars Technica, Trump’s support in Silicon Valley is otherwise borderline-nonexistent. According to Crowdpac, Trump has only received about $300,000 from tech companies; according to Open Secrets, that number is only $19,000. And it’s no surprise; Trump hasn’t exactly curried favor with Silicon Valley, attacking Apple, Amazon, and other tech giants early on in his campaign, which relies heavily on unregulated media outlets which run counter to the tech industry’s dedication to reliable sources. Many of Trump’s stated policies run counter to the desires of the tech startup industry; on other issues of importance to Silicon Valley, he doesn’t seem to care at all. And maybe that makes sense for a campaign targeted at working class America, but it hasn’t won him many favors either, financial or otherwise.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is raking in donations from Silicon Valley; over the last three months, she’s received over $300,000 from Google employees alone, as well as from employees at Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and more. Of course, California (Silicon Valley in particular) has always been an extremely blue state, and Trump may have chosen to simply ignore the companies there entirely. In fact, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has donated over $20 million to Democratic campaigns, and according to Recode, he’s not alone in the tech industry’s list of significant Clinton supporters.
But Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and sits on the Facebook board of directors, is clearly on-board in a very big way, in spite of Trump’s recent loss of support owing to the leaked tapes, on which the Inquisitr has previously reported.
Thiel, however, appears to have remained adamant in his support of Trump, in contrast to many other prominent members of the tech industry, and lately, in contrast to many prominent Republicans.
“I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform; but fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.”
“When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he’s not suggesting a return to the past. He’s running to lead us back to that bright future.”
In all fairness, Thiel has decided to put his money where his mouth is. But this may be one investment that the billionaire finds himself unable to recoup.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]