Venture capitalist Peter Thiel was a talking point when he vociferously backed Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential elections, but the Facebook Inc. (FB) board member and PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL) co-founder, who donated $1.25 million to the president's campaign, has remained relatively quiet on the subject of politics since the election.
However, a new filing indicates that Thiel is still a committed supporter. In October, the libertarian contributed $250,000 to the Trump Victory PAC. The funds collected go toward the Republican National Committee, the Donald J. Trump for President campaign and state committees in 11 states.
Thiel, who was chosen to be a member of the president's transition team, has defended Trump's stance on trade and slammed Silicon Valley for being a one-party state during an interview. “I thought supporting Trump was one of the least contrarian things I ever did. Half the country supported him,” he said at the Economic Club of New York.
And nonetheless, Thiel persisted
However, reports emerged that Thiel told friends there's a 50% chance the current presidency “ends in disaster.”
This latest donation, the first political contribution from Thiel since he donated $101,700 to the Republican National Committee in July and his second six-figure contribution since the 2016 election, confirms that he still believe's in Trump's vision.
This matters because he faced severe backlash from his peers for this very reason. Startup accelerator Y Combinator quietly broke ties with Thiel despite the latter's president Sam Altman defending "diversity of opinion." In February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Thiel discussed the possibility of resigning from Facebook's board over a political dispute with a fellow director. Thiel eventually relocated from Silicon Valley to Los Angeles, which he called "significantly more tolerant."
Despite this alienation, the entrepreneur has also had much to celebrate since Trump was elected. A principal at Thiel’s Founders Fund and former employee at Thiel's data mining-startup, Palantir Technologies, was appointed to Trump’s defense transition team where he reportedly helped shape policy and vet Defense Department staff. Palantir, which has never reported a profit, won a $876 million contract with the U.S. Defense Department in March. Palantir also stands to gain from Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants, according to The Intercept.