Billionaire MAGA Fan Peter Thiel Has Had It With Trump's COVID-19 Response - 2020-05-17
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.