Donald Trump extended a dinner invitation to Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel last month. While this in itself is not an unusual move by the president, this clandestine meeting was never disclosed before yesterday, reports NBC News.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed in an email sent out to the outlet that the meeting had taken place. However, they did not state why the meeting was held in secret or what the trio discussed.
“As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House.
It is alleged that the tryst took place when Zuckerberg paid a visit to Washington late last month. Congress questioned him about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra. Zuckerberg and Thiel, an outspoken conservative, also met with Trump and the First Lady.
It appears as if Facebook is trying to downplay the meeting and make it seem as if nothing significant has occurred. Yet, the question lingers that if it was a run-of-the-mill dinner, why has it been so closely guarded?
During this particular visit, Zuckerberg visited Georgetown University where he gave a speech at the historic institution and detailed why Facebook was committed to free speech.
The tech mogul has come under attack for refusing to take down controversial political ads. Zuckerberg stated that his company would not fact-check candidate election ads and would rather allow disputed claims to be debated by America at large.
This is also the second contact that Trump and Zuckerberg have had in a month. In September, Zuckerberg met with the president. At the time, the meeting was labeled as a “surprise meeting” in the Oval Office.
Poll: Trump leads top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin https://t.co/P7z7Si8I0h.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019
Thiel plays an important role in the company as he is one of its only seven board members. He was a major donor to Trump’s campaign. Thiel is also the chairman of a private data technology company that has received government defense contracts. Palantir received these contracts after Trump came into office.
This is not the first time that Zuckerberg’s connection with Trump and far-right conservatives have been questioned. The Inquisitr reported that Zuckerberg had reportedly met with “conservative media pundits, including Tucker Carlson.” At the time, it seemed as if Zuckerberg wanted to appease the president. Trump had threatened to sue Facebook and Google because he felt that social media was biased against conservatives, per Politico.
“So the fear is that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the Trump administration by not cracking down on right-wing propaganda.”