Peter Thiel says the Trump administration 'couldn't get the most basic pieces of the government to work'

Peter Thiel
Billionaire Peter Thiel holds cash during a cryptocurrency conference.Marco Bello/Getty Images
  • Peter Thiel says he's done giving money for GOP candidates for the 2024 cycle.

  • Thiel told the Atlantic that he hopes his comments will "lock me out of the cycle for 2024."

  • Thiel has given tens of millions to GOP candidates in recent years.

Billionaire Peter Thiel is scaling back his political spending ahead of next year's presidential election, a sign that the libertarian mega-donor is clearly dejected after previously giving millions to candidates, including former President Donald Trump.

Thiel told the Atlantic that he has no intention of giving money to Republican politicians in advance of next year's elections after playing a major role during the midterms.

Thiel gave over $30 million to just Blake Masters and JD Vance's US Senate campaigns in Arizona and Ohio respectively, according to federal campaign finance records. Masters, a Thiel protege, failed to oust Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly. Vance won an open seat after Trump's endorsement catapulted him to a primary win.

"There's always a chance I might change my mind. But by talking to you, it makes it hard for me to change my mind," Thiel told the Atlantic. "My husband doesn't want me to give them any more money, and he's right. I know they're going to be pestering me like crazy. And by talking to you, it's going to lock me out of the cycle for 2024."

While Thiel said he does not regret supporting Trump, journalist Barton Gellman describes Thiel as a mixture of both reassigned and nihilistic after watching how the Trump presidency unfolded.

"There are a lot of things I got wrong," Thiel said. "It was crazier than I thought. It was more dangerous than I thought. They couldn't get the most basic pieces of the government to work. So that was—I think that part was maybe worse than even my low expectations."

Thiel endorsed Trump during the 2016 GOP national convention. He later worked on Trump's transition team. Thiel even left Meta's board so he could support more candidates who were aligned with Trump. But now, Thiel struggles to explain his disappointment.

"I have to somehow give the exact right answer, where it's like, 'Yeah, I'm somewhat disenchanted,'" Thiel said. "But throwing him totally under the bus? That's like, you know—I'll get yelled at by Mr. Trump. And if I don't throw him under the bus, that's—but—somehow, I have to get the tone exactly right."

What is clear is that Thiel does not subscribe to Trump's long-debunked claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him due to widespread election fraud.

"Look, I don't think the election was stolen."

In terms of Trump's efforts to later overturn the results and thwart the certification of Biden's victory, Thiel said, "I'll agree with you that it was not helpful."

Elsewhere in the interview, Thiel declined to comment on Insider breaking the news that he was an FBI informant.

Read the original article on Business Insider