Tech billionaire and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has backed away from supporting US President Donald Trump in the latter's quest for the second presidential term. Reportedly, Thiel, a staunch supporter of Trump, pulled out after believing that Trump might lose in the upcoming presidential elections in November.
Even though the billionaire openly announced his support to Trump in 2018 in his re-election bid, he has remained absent from Trump's public campaigns. It is also reported that Thiel has also shied away from donating towards Trump's presidential campaign.
Peter Thiel and His Relation With Donald Trump
The venture capitalist was one of the first major investors in Facebook. The co-founder of PayPal, Thiel also co-founded CIA-backed big data startup Palantir, recently valued at around $20 billion. Even though he sold most of his stake in Facebook, he still has a seat on the company's board.
During the 2016 Presidential elections, Thiel backed Trump and donated $1.25 million to his campaign. Describing Trump as the man who could rebuild America during the Republican National Convention, Thiel was among the few tech leaders who backed Trump.
Notably, Thiel has benefited a lot during Trump's Presidency with his data-mining venture, Palantir, earning billions of dollars in government contracts, reported Daily Mail. Besides winning an $80 million contract to build a logistics management system for the US Navy's warships and aircraft, in March Thiel's venture Palantir also landed an $823 million contract to provide software to the Pentagon.
However, things then started to go downhill for Thiel-Trump friendship. In August 2017, Thiel told his close aides that Trump's administration was 'incompetent' and that he feared the presidency would 'end in disaster', reported BuzzFeed News.
Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic further irked Thiel, who had been 's**t-talking' Trump's botched management of the crisis, a source revealed to The Daily Beast.
Thiel Raises Doubts Over Trump's Second Term
The Wall Street Journal reported that Thiel, while speaking to his close group of friends and colleagues, has shown doubts over Trump's second bid for the White House. The discussions were held at the billionaire's oceanfront home in Hawaii a few weeks ago.
Quoting sources close to the billionaire, the outlet stated that Thiel believes the US economy will likely be stuck in deep recession with double-digit unemployment when the election rolls around in November. The scenario would be something that puts any sitting president in a position of dire disadvantage against the challenger. A source also revealed that Thiel said that Trump's presidential campaign was similar to the 'S.S. Minnow' - a ship that ran aground on the television series Gilligan's Island.
The tech billionaire is neither planning to donate any money to Trump's campaign, nor speak at the upcoming Republican convention, he might still vote for Trump. Thiel is extending his vote to Trump as he feels that the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is aligned too closely with traditional liberal ideologies. Reports say Thiel is unlikely to publicly distance himself from the president because he sees no benefit in doing so.