Politics

Silicon Valley Billionaire Peter Thiel To Speak At GOP Convention

(Thiel: REUTERS/Fred Prouser, Trump: REUTERS/John Sommers II)

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Ted Goodman Reporter

PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel will speak at the Republican National Convention on the same night that Donald Trump will accept the party’s nomination, according to The New York Times.

Thiel is one of a few major Silicon Valley investors to publicly support Trump. A majority of the top tech leaders are wary at the prospects of a Trump Presidency. Gary Shapiro, President of the Consumer Technology Association recently said, “I am constantly talking with tech leaders and CEO’s, and it’s safe to say that Trump supporters are few and far between.”

According to a June CNNMoney report, just 52 tech workers donated to Trump’s campaign, compared to 33,000 who donated to Sanders and the over 2,000 who donated to Clinton.

Republican heavy weights in the tech industry have been cautious about supporting Trump, and some have even vowed to never support his candidacy. Hewlett Packard CEO and 2010 candidate for California Governor Meg Whitman has called Trump “unfit” to be president, while conservative venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, has pledged to support Hillary Clinton if Trump is the GOP nominee.

Thiel has been at the center of attention following a lawsuit which effectively brought down the media site, Gawker. In December 2007, Gawker published a story with the headline “Peter Thiel Is Totally Gay, People.” Close friends told Forbes that the story left a mark, and likely was part of his motivation in going after Gawker. Reports emerged that Thiel financed the effort to bring down Gawker after the media group lost a $140 million lawsuit filed by Terry Bollea, who is known by most as the wrestler, Hulk Hogan. Bollea claimed that Gawker violated his privacy when it published a sex tape showing him engaging in sexual intercourse with Heather Cole, the then-wife of his best friend, Tampa Bay radio personality, Bubba the Love Sponge.

Thiel will speak on the fourth night of the convention, the same night as legendary college quarterback Tim Tebow, Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Reince Priebus, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, where he plans to accept the nomination.

The GOP convention runs Monday July 18 to July 21 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

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