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Billionaire Trump Donor Peter Thiel Backs Down: 'A Lot Of Things I Got Wrong'

Tech investor Peter Thiel, who was a major donor to Donald Trump in 2016 and played a role on Trump’s White House transition team, said he’s not giving money to the former president or anyone else this time around.

“Voting for Trump was like a not very articulate scream for help,” the billionaire told The Atlantic in a Thursday profile.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir, donated $1.25 million to Trump and Trump-affiliated super PACs in 2016 and spoke on Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention that year.

But he told The Atlantic that things didn’t turn out the way he’d hoped.

“There are a lot of things I got wrong,” he acknowledged. “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 told the magazine that he had no regrets. But he didn’t contribute to Trump in 2020, according to The Atlantic, and suggested that he wouldn’t donate to any 2024 Republican candidate, including Trump as he seeks to retake the White House.

Thiel said Trump had called him earlier this year looking for $10 million, similar to what Thiel had given Blake Masters and J.D. Vance for their recent Senate races.

Thiel turned him down, according to The Atlantic, and heard later on that Trump had called him a “fucking scumbag.”

Read the full Atlantic profile here.