Discussion:
Billionaire MAGA Fan Peter Thiel Has Had It With Trump's COVID-19 Response
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Miloch
2020-05-17 19:36:30 UTC
Permalink
https://www.thedailybeast.com/billionaire-maga-fan-peter-thiel-has-had-it-with-trumps-covid-19-response

During the last presidential campaign, Facebook board member and billionaire
Peter Thiel was among Donald Trump’s most important backers, campaigning for the
future president as a “proud,” openly gay supporter of the Republican nominee
and even speaking at the Republican Party’s 2016 convention. Four years later,
Thiel has taken on a dramatically reduced—if not altogether nonexistent—role in
pushing for Trump 2020.

Though Thiel declared a year and a half ago that he supports Trump’s
re-election, he so far hasn't donated large sums to any of the major Trump
campaign committees, and it is unclear to various Trump lieutenants if those
contributions are forthcoming. Top officials in the president’s political orbit
say that Thiel has been absent from 2020 discussions, with one proclaiming the
famous investor had “ghosted” Team Trump lately. And several people familiar
with the situation say he has privately criticized Trump in recent months and
contemplated limiting his support to other GOP or conservative-nationalist
politicians such as Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, to whom he donated the legal
maximum of $5,400 in 2017.

Thiel’s cold front has come as the data-mining firm that he co-founded has been
raking it in from federal contracts with the Trump administration, including a
recent deal to help build what the government hoped would be “the single source”
for data to understand and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. But, as it
were, sources say the heart of Thiel’s disaffection with the president is
Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

One person in Thiel’s circle tells The Daily Beast that Thiel has been
“shit-talking” Trump over what he views as the president’s hamfisted and botched
handling of the pandemic that has resulted in a stalled economy, massive job
losses, and a U.S. death toll approaching 90,000. Another person familiar with
Thiel’s recent griping said that Thiel was “clearly very frustrated” with the
president’s uneven public appearances, particularly the daily White House press
briefings Trump held that often ended in head-scratching pronouncements or
politically disastrous boasts.

In that regard, Thiel was hardly alone. Trump’s briefings got so bad that his
own most senior advisers were urging him to cut down on them, arguing to him
directly that these hours-long briefings were tanking his poll numbers and
handing a gift to Team Biden. But for a once-declared MAGA diehard to feel this
way underscores the degree of self-inflicted damage Trump may have done.

“Everybody goes into the Trump relationship woodchipper,” said Trump’s former
White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who worked on the Trump
presidential transition team with Thiel and who had his own falling-out with the
president. “You either come out on the other side with your dignity and your
personal story intact or you’re reformed as Trump compost and you’re fertilizer
under his shoe. You have to make a decision and it happens to everyone.”

The Daily Beast asked more than a dozen Trump campaign officials, White House
aides, and others close to the president and involved in his re-election effort
if Thiel had been quietly working with Team Trump on anything 2020 or campaign
cash-related, if there had been any meaningful contact in the past three months,
or if Thiel had come up in any planning conversations, even in passing. None
could offer any examples, and each said they weren’t aware of anything of that
nature.

“He ghosted us,” a senior 2020 Trump campaign source said bluntly. “If anything
[new] has happened, I haven’t heard about it.”

The White House and Trump campaign did not provide comment. The Daily Beast
emailed Thiel and his representative a detailed list of questions and gave them
multiple opportunities to comment. They did not respond, though in this case,
the money—or lack thereof—may tell the story.

Though a major financial supporter of Trump and other Republican politicians in
the past, Thiel has donated nothing to the president’s re-election campaign or
the Republican National Committee since 2018, according to the most recent
available Federal Election Commission data. He’s donated to just one federal
political candidate since last year: former Kansas secretary of state and
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kris Kobach, an anti-immigration hardliner and
Trump buddy. Thiel has also backed a super PAC supporting Kobach’s Senate bid,
and last year chipped in $5,000 for Facebook’s political action committee.

May of an election year is, historically, when Thiel begins to truly open up his
wallet to the political candidates he supports, suggesting that FEC filings
covering the second quarter of 2020, which will be filed in July, might show new
beneficiaries of his support, including Trump. Thiel began donating to Trump’s
2016 campaign in July of that year. But he also continued providing financial
support to the Trump re-elect through the midterm election season, with his last
donation to the president coming on July 10, 2018.

To those who know the tech investor, his softening on his pro-Trump position
doesn’t come as a shock, as he is known to be mercurial with his support for
political figures, according to two people familiar with Thiel’s public
relations and personal calculus.

Like so many other prominent right-leaning members of the industry and political
elite who now profess their love of Trump, Thiel bashed Trump first before
becoming a defender. During a 2014 conversation with conservative commentator
Jamie Weinstein, then of the Daily Caller, Thiel dinged Trump as “sort of
symptomatic of everything that is wrong with New York City.”


In August 2017, BuzzFeed News published a story on how Thiel had been telling
friends that he believed there was a 50-50 chance the Trump presidency “ends in
disaster,” even as he was publicly singing Trump’s praises and flexing his
influence with the 45th president’s inner circle and policymakers such as the
president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In May 2018, CNBC reported that certain
allies of the president were sounding the alarm that Thiel might not open his
wallet for 2018 GOP congressional campaigns “after being given the cold shoulder
by some White House officials.”

Thiel ended up giving to the Republican Party anyway, and in November 2018, just
days before the midterm elections, Thiel was on-stage at a conference lauding
President Trump as “relatively successful” and promising his support for the
2020 race, according to a Bloomberg report.

While Thiel may be cold on Trump because of, among other things, the handling of
coronavirus, he’s not altogether removed from the president’s orbit. NBC News
revealed that he and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dined at the White House with
Trump in October. And even before COVID-19 overtook America, Palantir, which
Thiel co-founded, had increased its contracting business with the government
astronomically, capped by a piece of an $800 million data-management contract
with the Pentagon. Since then, it’s drawn on its decade-long relationship with
U.S. health agencies to become one of the data-mining companies of choice for
tracking coronavirus logistics issues.

On April 22, according to federal contracting records, the firm inked a
relatively small $7.5 million deal to form the backbone of a platform for the
Department of Health and Human Services, called HHS Protect Now, for integrating
large amounts of coronavirus-relevant data from around the country.




*
George Core
2020-05-17 23:57:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Miloch
https://www.thedailybeast.com/billionaire-maga-fan-peter-thiel-has-had-
it
Post by Miloch
-with-trumps-covid-19-response
During the last presidential campaign, Facebook board member and
billionaire Peter Thiel was among Donald Trump’s most important backers,
campaigning for the future president as a “proud,” openly gay supporter
of the Republican nominee and even speaking at the Republican Party’s
2016 convention. Four years later, Thiel has taken on a dramatically
reduced—if not altogether nonexistent—role in pushing for Trump 2020.
Though Thiel declared a year and a half ago that he supports Trump’s
re-election, he so far hasn't donated large sums to any of the major
Trump campaign committees, and it is unclear to various Trump
lieutenants if those contributions are forthcoming. Top officials in the
president’s political orbit say that Thiel has been absent from 2020
discussions, with one proclaiming the famous investor had “ghosted” Team
Trump lately. And several people familiar with the situation say he has
privately criticized Trump in recent months and contemplated limiting
his support to other GOP or conservative-nationalist politicians such as
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, to whom he donated the legal maximum of
$5,400 in 2017.
Thiel’s cold front has come as the data-mining firm that he co-founded
has been raking it in from federal contracts with the Trump
administration, including a recent deal to help build what the
government hoped would be “the single source” for data to understand and
mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. But, as it were, sources say
the heart of Thiel’s disaffection with the president is Trump’s handling
of the coronavirus crisis.
One person in Thiel’s circle tells The Daily Beast that Thiel has been
“shit-talking” Trump over what he views as the president’s hamfisted and
botched handling of the pandemic that has resulted in a stalled economy,
massive job losses, and a U.S. death toll approaching 90,000. Another
person familiar with Thiel’s recent griping said that Thiel was “clearly
very frustrated” with the president’s uneven public appearances,
particularly the daily White House press briefings Trump held that often
ended in head-scratching pronouncements or politically disastrous
boasts.
In that regard, Thiel was hardly alone. Trump’s briefings got so bad
that his own most senior advisers were urging him to cut down on them,
arguing to him directly that these hours-long briefings were tanking his
poll numbers and handing a gift to Team Biden. But for a once-declared
MAGA diehard to feel this way underscores the degree of self-inflicted
damage Trump may have done.
“Everybody goes into the Trump relationship woodchipper,” said Trump’s
former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who
worked on the Trump presidential transition team with Thiel and who had
his own falling-out with the president. “You either come out on the
other side with your dignity and your personal story intact or you’re
reformed as Trump compost and you’re fertilizer under his shoe. You have
to make a decision and it happens to everyone.”
The Daily Beast asked more than a dozen Trump campaign officials, White
House aides, and others close to the president and involved in his
re-election effort if Thiel had been quietly working with Team Trump on
anything 2020 or campaign cash-related, if there had been any meaningful
contact in the past three months, or if Thiel had come up in any
planning conversations, even in passing. None could offer any examples,
and each said they weren’t aware of anything of that nature.
“He ghosted us,” a senior 2020 Trump campaign source said bluntly. “If
anything [new] has happened, I haven’t heard about it.”
The White House and Trump campaign did not provide comment. The Daily
Beast emailed Thiel and his representative a detailed list of questions
and gave them multiple opportunities to comment. They did not respond,
though in this case, the money—or lack thereof—may tell the story.
Though a major financial supporter of Trump and other Republican
politicians in the past, Thiel has donated nothing to the president’s
re-election campaign or the Republican National Committee since 2018,
according to the most recent available Federal Election Commission data.
former Kansas secretary of state and Republican U.S. Senate candidate
Kris Kobach, an anti-immigration hardliner and Trump buddy. Thiel has
also backed a super PAC supporting Kobach’s Senate bid, and last year
chipped in $5,000 for Facebook’s political action committee.
May of an election year is, historically, when Thiel begins to truly
open up his wallet to the political candidates he supports, suggesting
that FEC filings covering the second quarter of 2020, which will be
filed in July, might show new beneficiaries of his support, including
Trump. Thiel began donating to Trump’s 2016 campaign in July of that
year. But he also continued providing financial support to the Trump
re-elect through the midterm election season, with his last donation to
the president coming on July 10, 2018.
To those who know the tech investor, his softening on his pro-Trump
position doesn’t come as a shock, as he is known to be mercurial with
his support for political figures, according to two people familiar with
Thiel’s public relations and personal calculus.
Like so many other prominent right-leaning members of the industry and
political elite who now profess their love of Trump, Thiel bashed Trump
first before becoming a defender. During a 2014 conversation with
conservative commentator Jamie Weinstein, then of the Daily Caller,
Thiel dinged Trump as “sort of symptomatic of everything that is wrong
with New York City.”
In August 2017, BuzzFeed News published a story on how Thiel had been
telling friends that he believed there was a 50-50 chance the Trump
presidency “ends in disaster,” even as he was publicly singing Trump’s
praises and flexing his influence with the 45th president’s inner circle
and policymakers such as the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. In
May 2018, CNBC reported that certain allies of the president were
sounding the alarm that Thiel might not open his wallet for 2018 GOP
congressional campaigns “after being given the cold shoulder by some
White House officials.”
Thiel ended up giving to the Republican Party anyway, and in November
2018, just days before the midterm elections, Thiel was on-stage at a
conference lauding President Trump as “relatively successful” and
promising his support for the 2020 race, according to a Bloomberg
report.
While Thiel may be cold on Trump because of, among other things, the
handling of coronavirus, he’s not altogether removed from the
president’s orbit. NBC News revealed that he and Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg dined at the White House with Trump in October. And even
before COVID-19 overtook America, Palantir, which Thiel co-founded, had
increased its contracting business with the government astronomically,
capped by a piece of an $800 million data-management contract with the
Pentagon. Since then, it’s drawn on its decade-long relationship with
U.S. health agencies to become one of the data-mining companies of
choice for tracking coronavirus logistics issues.
On April 22, according to federal contracting records, the firm inked a
relatively small $7.5 million deal to form the backbone of a platform
for the Department of Health and Human Services, called HHS Protect Now,
for integrating large amounts of coronavirus-relevant data from around
the country.
Trump supporters will die and cost Trump the election.


https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/23/how-coronavirus-could-upend-2020-
battlegrounds-204708
Mitchell Holman
2020-05-18 01:38:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Miloch
https://www.thedailybeast.com/billionaire-maga-fan-peter-thiel-has-had-
it-with-trumps-covid-19-response
During the last presidential campaign, Facebook board member and
billionaire Peter Thiel was among Donald Trump’s most important
backers, campaigning for the future president as a “proud,” openly gay
supporter of the Republican nominee and even speaking at the
Republican Party’s 2016 convention. Four years later, Thiel has taken
on a dramatically reduced—if not altogether nonexistent—role in
pushing for Trump 2020.
Though Thiel declared a year and a half ago that he supports Trump’s
re-election, he so far hasn't donated large sums to any of the major
Trump campaign committees, and it is unclear to various Trump
lieutenants if those contributions are forthcoming. Top officials in
the president’s political orbit say that Thiel has been absent from
2020 discussions, with one proclaiming the famous investor had
“ghosted” Team Trump lately. And several people familiar with the
situation say he has privately criticized Trump in recent months and
contemplated limiting his support to other GOP or
conservative-nationalist politicians such as Missouri Senator Josh
Hawley, to whom he donated the legal maximum of $5,400 in 2017.
Thiel’s cold front has come as the data-mining firm that he co-founded
has been raking it in from federal contracts with the Trump
administration, including a recent deal to help build what the
government hoped would be “the single source” for data to understand
and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus. But, as it were, sources
say the heart of Thiel’s disaffection with the president is Trump’s
handling of the coronavirus crisis.
As Molly Ivins famously said of Phil Gramm,
"Even his friends don't like him"

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