Peter Thiel, Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) board director and one of the company’s early investors, doesn’t have much faith in President Trump. According to the Wall Street Journal, Thiel has distanced himself from the Trump campaign this year. He thinks that President Trump will struggle to get reelected.
At the center of Peter Thiel’s sinking hope about President Trump’s re-election is how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic. The US continues to report a record number of COVID-19 infections, which threatens the economy.
Even states and cities that relaxed the COVID-19 restrictions have reintroduced them as new cases spike. The increased cases hurt businesses and could lead to more job losses as businesses shut again. Apple closed its retail stores in states with resurging COVID-19 cases.
Peter Thiel doesn’t think that President Trump can win if he goes into the election with a damaged economy. Due to doubts about President Trump’s re-election, Thiel hasn’t donated any money to the campaign this year. Notably, Thiel donated $1.25 million to President Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential race. Also, he appeared at campaign events.
Peter Thiel and the Facebook-Trump controversy
Peter Thiel is a powerful figure at Facebook. He has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s ear. Thiel was one of the people who advised the company not to fact-check information in political ads. Facebook’s policy of not fact-checking messages in political ads has put it on the defensive. The company has faced claims that it might have cut a secret deal with President Trump to help his re-election.
The Trump campaign is a big spender on Facebook ads. Last year, Peter Thiel joined Mark Zuckerberg in a private meeting with President Trump. Not many details emerged after the meeting. Although President Trump is a big Facebook political advertising client, his posts have got the company in trouble. The ongoing Facebook ad boycott campaign has a lot to do with President Trump’s posts.
However, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t think that Facebook stock investors should panic over the ad boycott. The surge in Facebook stock this year has helped add $10 billion to Zuckerberg’s net worth, which was $88.6 billion as of July 3. Peter Thiel, who has sold most of his Facebook shares, has a net worth of $2.3 billion.