In the 2016 election, there were two distinct types of Trump voters: (1) the hardcore MAGA base and (2) independents who weren’t fond of Donald Trump but disliked the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, even more. Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel clearly fell into the first category, making substantial donations to Trump’s campaign and speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention. But journalists Lachlan Cartwright, Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, in the Daily Beast, report that Thiel has “taken on a dramatically reduced — if not altogether nonexistent — role in pushing for Trump 2020.” And Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is likely to blame.
The journalists explain, “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.”
A source described by Cartwright, Suebsaeng and Markay as someone in “Thiel’s circle” told the Beast that the tech billionaire has been “shit-talking” Trump because of his response to the coronavirus crisis and its effect on the U.S. economy. And another source, also quoted anonymously, told the Beast that Thiel is “clearly very frustrated” with the president.
A Trump campaign source, interviewed by the Beast, said of Thiel, “He ghosted us. If anything (new) has happened, I haven’t heard about it.”
The Beast reporters note that according to Federal Election Commission data, Thiel hasn’t made any donations to Trump’s reelection campaign since 2018.