A Tech Billionaire Met with White Supremacists in 2016. Now He’s Funding an Arizona GOP Candidate.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

By Oliver Willis

April 27, 2021

The billionaire tech investor met with white supremacists in 2016 while supporting Trump’s campaign.

Politico reported on Monday that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel is giving $10 million to Saving Arizona PAC, a super political action committee that will support the upcoming Senate campaign of his business partner Blake Masters.

Masters is the chief operating officer of Thiel Capital and also serves as the president of the Thiel Foundation. He is reported to be ready to run for the seat currently held by Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who won a special election for the seat in 2020.

Thiel also recently donated $10 million to a PAC supporting author J.D. Vance, the author of the book “Hillbilly Elegy,” a possible candidate in the Republican primary to fill the Ohio Senate seat that will be left vacant by the retirement of Sen. Rob Portman.

Politico reports that Thiel is considering donations to other Republicans in the 2022 election cycle, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

BuzzFeed reported last year that Thiel hosted a private dinner for a vocal white supremacist as part of his outreach in support of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Thiel reportedly met with Kevin DeAnna, who founded the white supremacist movement Youth for Western Civilization, promoting the idea of a whites-only ethnostate that he described as “the great dream of the White Republic.”

DeAnna promoted Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in white supremacist outlets in 2015, urging the racist movement to back a mainstream candidate in the upcoming election.

Right-wing activist and columnist Milo Yiannopoulos was also invited to the dinner with Thiel. Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter after comparing actress Leslie Jones, who is Black, to an ape. An April 2016 video recorded at a Dallas karaoke bar showed Yiannopoulos singing for an audience of white supremacists, including some making Nazi salutes.

Right-wing activist Brendan Kissam, who appeared in videos for the white supremacist anti-immigration site VDare, reportedly attended the party and was including in an email chain with Thiel and DeAnna.

In emails uncovered by BuzzFeed, DeAnna tells Thiel after the dinner, “It was a real honor meeting you and thanks for hosting all of us (and putting up with all of us staying so late).”

After Trump was elected, Thiel attended a 2017 dinner with Scott Greer, who wrote for notorious white supremacist Richard Spencer’s website Radix Journal. Also in attendance was Darren Beattie, a Trump speechwriter who left his job after it was revealed that he spoke to the H.L. Mencken Club, which has given a platform to white supremacists.

The racist “alt-right” movement emerged as prominent backers of Trump in the 2016 election. Media Matters for America noted that August that white supremacists were cheered by Trump’s history of racist comments, including his frequent attacks on immigrants, particularly Latinos and Muslims.

Thiel gave financial support to Trump during the 2016 election, most notably in October 2016, when he donated $1.25 million to super PACs and directly to the campaign. By the time Thiel donated to Trump, the “Access Hollywood” recordings of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women had already been released.

He also spoke at the Republican Convention on July 21, 2016.

Prior to his support for Trump, Thiel had already come under fire for expressing opinions seen as hostile to women.

HuffPost reported shortly before the 2016 election that in their 1998 book “The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism And Political Intolerance On Campus,” Thiel and his co-author David Sacks attacked what they described as the “rape crisis movement,” complaining that the definition of rape had been incorrectly expanded to include “seductions that are later regretted” and writing, “The purpose of the rape crisis movement seems as much about vilifying men as about raising ‘awareness.'”

Thiel apologized after the excerpts were publicized, telling Forbes, “More than two decades ago, I co-wrote a book with several insensitive, crudely argued statements. As I’ve said before, I wish I’d never written those things. I’m sorry for it. Rape in all forms is a crime.

In a column written for the libertarian Cato Institute’s “Cato Unbound” website in 2009, Thiel described the 1920s as ” the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics.” He lamented that since 1920, “the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.




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