There are very few and quite possibly zero venture capitalists that have a better track record of predicting success than Peter Thiel.
The group of companies he has either founded or been among the earliest investors in is a laundry list of tech’s greatest successes: Facebook, PayPal, Palantir, LinkedIn, Yelp, Stripe.
Thiel is also outspoken in his views on politics and society. Never shy about being an iconoclast, he has railed against college (he recently said it’s as corrupt as the Catholic Church in the 16th century) and has even looked into starting an offshore colony in an attempt to create a libertarian utopia.
Now, Thiel has pulled perhaps his most surprising move yet. He has signed up as a delegate for the presumptive nominee for president for the Republican party Donald Trump.
The Sacramento Beefirst reported on Thiel’s position as a delegate.
Thiel is a well-known libertarian, having supported Ron Paul and given around $2.6 million to his campaignin 2012.
But his support for Trump is still surprising.Thiel at one time called Trump “sort of symptomatic of everything that is wrong with New York City,” in an interview with The Daily Caller.
Trump also isn’t much for the free market. He’s already said that he intends to put serious restrictions on foreign trade including major tariffs on imports from China.
The presumptive Republican nominee has also clashed with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Apple, the last of which he suggested boycotting.
The news generated a mix of surprise but also a bit of “expect the unexpected.”
Peter Thiel backing Donald Trump is so Peter Thiel
James Cook (@JamesLiamCook) May 10, 2016
I always assumed Peter Thiel was a bit loopy in the way rich guy libertarians tend to be, but genuinely surprised he’s full Trump-derpy
Tom Gara (@tomgara) May 10, 2016
Requests for comment sent to organizations associated with Thiel were not immediately returned.
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