It hasn’t been easy for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to find fans in Silicon Valley. But one of his few supporters in this global tech hub is investor Peter Thiel, who is being handsomely rewarded with a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention that starts next week.
Thiel, the maverick billionaire investor and Facebook board member, is never afraid to cut against the grain. Whether it’s secretly funding a lawsuit to crush Gawker in retaliation for “outing” him as gay or funding floating cities on the ocean to avoid government regulation, the Paypal cofounder proudly walks his own path.
Even so, word that Thiel had signed up to be a delegate for Trump in the recent California primary came as a surprise. And now he’s set to speak in Cleveland next week, according to the New York Times.
Thiel is a rare commodity for Trump: Someone in Silicon Valley who supports him.
Apple pulled its sponsorship of the GOP convention, and many other companies are reducing their involvement next week. Campaign donations from the region are proving hard for Trump to come by. And to top it all off, many conservative Silicon Valley leaders aren’t being shy about revealing their support for Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.