Donald Trump’s most unlikely supporter: Silicon Valley billionaire Pete Thiel

Peter “Thiel boasts a World Chess Federation rating of 2,199, one point short of the group’s lowest honorific, candidate master,” Max Chafkin and Lizette Chapman report for Bloomberg. “At 48, he’s co-founded PayPal, was Facebook’s first outside investor, and is worth almost $3 billion. He still sits on Facebook’s board, and through his firm, Founders Fund, made early bets on Spotify, Airbnb, SpaceX, Lyft, Palantir Technologies, and a half-dozen other private companies worth more than $1 billion each.”

“His status as ringleader of the PayPal Mafia, the network of former employees and co-founders that includes SpaceX’s Elon Musk and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, makes him one of Silicon Valley’s most influential and admired figures; his iconoclastic politics make him a subject of amusement. Not coincidentally, and disconcertingly to many of those close to him, Thiel is also one of Donald Trump’s most prominent backers,” Chafkin and Chapman report. “Thiel is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention in a prime-time speaking slot shortly before Trump accepts the nomination. Thiel declined to comment for this article, but according to a person familiar with his speech, he plans to embrace Trump’s skepticism about recent U.S. wars in the Middle East and to praise the candidate’s economic qualifications—despite Trump’s advocacy of protectionist tariffs and extreme immigration restrictions, measures that would seem at odds with the radical libertarian image Thiel projects. Thiel also plans to say that, though he considers identity politics a distraction, he’s proud of his identity as a gay man. Thiel will be the first speaker to publicly acknowledge his or her homosexuality at a Republican convention.”

Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel
“His speech also marks an historic moment for Silicon Valley. After decades of avoiding politics, technology companies have suddenly taken an interest in elections,” Chafkin and Chapman report. “But the industry has been moving into more heavily regulated areas of the economy in recent years. Uber and Airbnb are locked in battles with municipalities over the “sharing economy.” Tesla Motors faces scrutiny over its driverless car program. Google and Apple have been fighting off federal government pressure to build backdoors into their technology… In interviews, four of Thiel’s friends and colleagues—all of whom would speak only on the condition of anonymity—characterized his decision to back Trump as in keeping with his entrepreneurial instincts. He loves disruption, in the Silicon Valley sense of “creative destruction,” as opposed to the usual connotation of “making things worse,” and has weighed the candidate’s demagoguery against a hope that a Trump administration would clear the way for further disruption. It is, these friends and colleagues say, a perfectly sensible chess move—the political equivalent of the king’s pawn.”

Tons more in the full article here.

Tech investor Peter Thiel’s embrace of Donald Trump for U.S. President has Silicon Valley squirming – July 20, 2016
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit to take down Gawker which outed him, Tim Cook, and others – May 27, 2016
An open letter from Apple co-founder Woz, other techies on Donald Trump’s candidacy for U.S. President – July 14, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. I think politics invaded has gotten into Silicon Valley’s business too much in the last 2-3 years for Silicon Valley not to make its political presence public. It is time Joe Six-pack understands that his 1st amendment rights and that of his buddy’s on the their favorite Bass fishing forum are being attacked.

  2. Donald Trump manipulates the media with skill not seen since Steve Jobs. It is my belief that during the primary campaign, he intentionally said controversial (and even outrageous) things (with calculation) to bait the liberal media into giving him free (priceless) media attention, and then used that opportunity to advance his campaign in more meaningful ways. He won his party’s nomination using far less money (his own) for paid advertising than his competition.

    And it continues… Look at the ridiculous amount of free media attention from Melania Trump’s so-called “plagiarism” of a few lines from a Michelle Obama speech. If her speech is perfect, the media mostly ignores it. Instead, it receives 100x the coverage, and general public interest spills over into rest of the RNC, including Gov. Christie’s prosecution of Hillary Clinton (“lock her up”) speech the next day. I could even believe it was intentional, a trap set for the media. Either way, Trump took full advantage of the media predictably blowing up an issue that is trivial (in the big picture), and used the opportunity to advance his campaign in more meaningful ways. FAR more people heard the other RNC speeches because of the media’s compulsive scrutiny of Melania’s speech.

    Trump tweeted, “Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!” and added the zinger, “The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails,” to highlight the obvious liberal bias. If the goal of liberal media is the discredit Trump and promote Clinton, they just HIM did a huge favor. He’s saying, “Is this the best you can do? Oh, and while I have your full attention, let’s summarize why Hillary is unfit to be President.” Brilliant. In November, no one remembers Melania’s speech.

    While other “conservatives” are constantly whining about the media, Trump expertly manipulates the predictable bias to his advantage, while making the media look silly and desperate.

    1. Ok, he did not use his own money. He loaned his campaign 40 million, and then paid himself back with donations, with over 20% going directly to him or his companies. He “converted” those loans to donations, but has not filed the paperwork with the FEC to do so, and refuses to. Everything else you said I believe is correct. The media are being led around by the balls.

      But this falsehood of him “self funding” needs to be destroyed. If he truly was self funding or actually has the means to self fund he never would have accepted donations, nor would he have loaned his campaign the money, nor would he have laid himself back with those donations, nor would he be seeking big money donations now for the general.

      1. “either way the loser here is the American people.”

        I can agree with that.

        unfortunately all around the world political leaders don’t match the strength, intelligence and decency of many of the people they want to lead.
        In politics too often ‘froth rises to the top’.

        1. the person who gave me the ‘two star’ vote.
          what do you have in disagreement with what I said?

          I agreed with PB’s ‘EITHER way’.
          do you think EITHER: trump or Hillary is the BEST America can come up with?

          (if you think I’m dumping on Hillary, ask yourself if you’re a liberal , is Hillary as good as John F. Kennedy? on the other hand Is Trump Eisenhower or Lincoln?)

          the problem with people is that the PICK a POSITION ‘conservative, liberal, Democratic, Republican or whatever’ and then stand on that position regardless of what the candidate is doing or stands for

          stop being manipulated, Demand Reasonable Ethical Leadership on a BROAD BASIS (not narrow interests) regardless of party or affiliation etc and then maybe politics can start to right itself. there is something BROKEN with politics today that REALLY talented people don’t want to run or can’t win.

        2. The real qualified or better choice of candidates are too smart to step up and take the kind of media abuse and exposure it takes to be President these days. That only leaves the power hungry, status quo, incumbent and bucket list folk.

    1. Odd that you should say that. At a party last night someone challenged me about why Trump would be good for America. I said I got nothin.’ Later on, I was asked why Hillary would be a good President. I said, I got nothin.’

      Any more, tha’s my go-to answer, and it’s a good one, especially when it comes to head-scratchers like Brexit, or why the Warriors choked.

      According to, a noted Internet authority, a person who is actually smart will not pretend to have an answer for everything, but will admit “I don’t know.” Thus, when commenting “I got nothin’,” I am racking up points for being smart, as well as for being ironic in a post-modern millenial fashion. Which is oh so important in conversations at cocktail parties, but admittedly worthless in blustery forums like this one patrolled by trolls not old enough to legally drink.

  3. I found this quote to Trumps speech amusing and telling.

    –Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63): “I’ve heard this sort of speech a lot in the last 15 years and trust me, it doesn’t sound any better in Russian.”

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