LinkedIn co-founder and Democratic megadonor Reid Hoffman introduced billionaire backer to former President Donald Trump Peter Thiel to disgraced pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2014, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
Epstein scheduled at least six meetings with Thiel at his townhouse from 2014-16 following Hoffman’s effort to connect Thiel to Epstein and arrange a meeting between them at Thiel’s home in San Francisco, The WSJ reported based on thousands of pages of Epstein’s emails and schedules from 2013-17. (RELATED: DOJ Investigation Says Why Epstein’s Mysterious Jail Cell Death Was Not Caught On Camera)
— Khadeeja Safdar (@khadeeja_safdar) August 30, 2023
“Meet one of the guys who invented derivatives, Jeffrey Epstein?” Hoffman said in March 2014, echoing Epstein’s claims about himself. Hoffman told Thiel that Epstein was “mostly fun, very interesting guy, you may find him perverse, but very smart on biology, computation, macro econ,” WSJ found.
Hoffman told the publication he regrets associating with Epstein and introduced Thiel in order to fundraise for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thiel is well known in Silicon Valley for his executive roles at PayPal and Palantir Technologies.
“In the intro, I used the claims Epstein asked me to do, including how he characterized himself. I trusted MIT’s vetting and did not do my own,” Hoffman said. The outlet previously reported on Hoffman’s scheduled visits to Epstein’s infamous Little St. James island located in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Thiel said he had no recollection of MIT coming up in his conversations with Epstein and Hoffman. “I was rather naive,” Thiel said, “and I didn’t think enough about what Epstein’s agenda might have been.”
“He was a crazed networker and low on substance in one-on-one conversations,” Thiel added, WSJ reported. “It was all smoke and mirrors.”
Epstein scheduled lunches with Thiel and another Trump donor, real estate investor Thomas Barrack, for reasons that remain unclear. The disgraced financier bragged about how many connections he had in Trump’s inner circle, people he met with at the time told WSJ.
Thiel spent more than $35 million on Republicans in the 2022 midterm cycle and spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention on Trump’s behalf. He was one of Trump’s largest donors in 2016 but stayed out of the 2020 presidential contest. He reportedly told associates he will not be donating to Republicans in the 2024 election cycle and he has criticized the GOP for placing too much emphasis on cultural issues.
Hoffman continues to be a major donor to Democratic candidates and anti-Trump organizations, including President Joe Biden’s 2024 joint fundraising committee and multiple Democratic candidates facing competitive Congressional elections. He gave the party more than $14 million in the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, according to data from Watchdog organization OpenSecrets. He also funded Democratic disinformation campaigns in the 2017 Alabama senate special election and the 2018 midterm cycle.
Epstein was sentenced in 2008 for procuring a minor for prostitution in Florida and charged by federal prosecutors in July 2019 for sex trafficking. He was found dead in his jail cell the following month and investigators have ruled his death a suicide.