Enlarge / Peter Thiel delivers a speech during the Republican National Convention in July.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Silicon Valley heavyweight Peter Thiel will soon cement his place as one of Donald Trump’s biggest financial supporters.
The New York Times reported last night that the billionaire venture capitalist, who co-founded PayPal, will donate $1.25 million to Trump’s Presidential campaign.
According to the report, part of the money will go to a pro-Trump Super PAC, while some will go directly to the campaign.
Thiel declined to comment on the donation, which was sourced to “a person close to” Thiel.
Saying that Trump’s support in Silicon Valley is slim would be an understatement.
Thiel, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in July, is practically the only high-profile tech personality who has come out in support of Trump.
Trump doesn’t have that many large-scale contributors at all, and Thiel’s donation will put him on a very short list of people who have given upwards of $1 million. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump has received $15.5 million from Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund owned by Robert and Rebekah Mercer; $2 million from Los Angeles developer Geoffrey Palmer; and $1 million from Hawaiian Gardens Casino.
Political donations from the technology industry have overwhelmingly gone to the Clinton campaign in 2016. Recode cites Crowdpac’s tabulation of about $8 million in tech industry cash going to Clinton, versus around $300,000 to Trump (not including, obviously, Thiel’s newly reported gift.)
Just in the last three months, Clinton has received more than $300,000 from Google employees alone, as well as significant donations from employees at Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and other tech companies. Recode published a list today of prominent Clinton donors in tech, including Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife, who gave $20 million to Democratic campaigns.
Beyond his convention speech, Thiel hasn’t said much about the campaign.
Earlier this week, it wasn’t even clear if he was still supporting Trump.
Following allegations of sexual harassment that have dogged the Trump campaign in recent days, reporters from The Hill and Gizmodo tried to clarify if Thiel was still on board, but didn’t get an answer.
The recent NYT report would seem to make it clear that he is.
Thiel has also been in the news this year when it was revealed that he funded litigation against the news website Gawker. One of the Thiel-sponsored lawsuits led to a $140 million verdict and Gawker’s bankruptcy.