Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Billionaire Peter Thiel says Donald Trump’s administration ‘Crazier’ and ‘More Dangerous’ than anticipated

Speaking to The Atlantic on November 9, Thiel stated that the Trump administration was “crazier” and “more dangerous” than he had anticipated. He donated $1.25 million to Trump and Trump-affiliated political funds eight years ago.

“There are a lot of things I got wrong. It was crazier than I thought. It was more dangerous than I thought. They couldn’t get the most basic pieces of the government to work. So that was – I think that part was maybe worse than even my low expectations,” he said.

Also Read: Peter Thiel Fund had advised companies to exit Silicon Valley Bank

The co-founder of PayPal and Palantir also clarified that he is no longer contributing to Trump or any other candidate in the upcoming 2024 US Presidential campaign. Thiel shared his perspective on voting for Trump, describing it as a “not very articulate scream for help.”

Unfulfilled Hopes

The tech mogul revealed that he had hoped Trump’s election would lead to a national reckoning, with the belief that dismantling existing structures was necessary for rebuilding the country. Thiel acknowledged that there were aspects of his expectations that proved incorrect, stating, “There are a lot of things I got wrong.”

Expressing his disappointment, Thiel also highlighted that the administration struggled to make the most basic components of the government work. He emphasized that this aspect was possibly worse than his already low expectations.

Opinion on Trump

In 2018, Thiel had expressed dissatisfaction with Trump’s first year in office, although he deemed Trump better than other alternatives. Reportedly distancing himself from Trump’s campaign before the 2020 election, Thiel however said he wouldn’t categorize himself as a “Never Trumper.”

Also contrary to some opinions, Thiel stated that he does not believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. He criticized the former president’s attempts to overturn the results, describing them as “not helpful.”

Also Read: PayPal co-founder signs up to be frozen after death in hopes of future revival

Thiel also shared that Trump approached him earlier this year, seeking a $10 million donation, which he rejected. Thiel said Tmp responded with: “Very sad, very sad to hear that.” Subsequently, Thiel learned that Trump had insulted him to Masters, referring to him as a “f****** scumbag.”

No Plans, But Open

Thiel clarified his stance, noting that although he currently has no plans to donate in this election cycle, there remains a possibility of a change of mind. He mentioned his husband’s reluctance, stating, “he doesn’t want me to give them any more money, and he’s right.”

Acknowledging the anticipated persistence from political candidates, Thiel remarked that he expected to be “pestered like crazy” by those seeking contributions.

Favour Pessimism

Revealing his motivation for a foray into political donations, despite often being identified as a techno-libertarian, Thiel told The Atlantic his political engagement traces back to early 2016.

Thiel’s involvement began when he supported Terry Gene Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, in a privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media. The jury ruled in favour of Bollea, and Thiel saw this as an indication that Trump could secure victory in the upcoming election.

Approximately 10 days before Donald Trump’s formal nomination at the Republican National Convention in 2016, Thiel received a call from Trump’s son, Don Jr. The call included an invitation for Thiel to speak from the platform, a proposal to which Thiel agreed. In his explanation to the magazine, Thiel revealed that his inclination towards candidates with pessimistic slogans influenced his decision.

“If you’re too optimistic, it just shows you’re out of touch. ‘Make America Great Again’ was the most pessimistic slogan of any candidate in 100 years, because you were saying that we are no longer a great country. And that was a shocking slogan for a major presidential candidate,” he added.

Thiel has favoured a mixed bag of candidates — the successful Trump-backed campaign of Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), and also the unsuccessful Arizona Senate run of Blake Masters.

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Updated: 11 Nov 2023, 12:51 PM IST

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