- Venture capitalist and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel has made his first six-figure splash in the 2018 midterm election cycle, according to newly posted Federal Election Commission records.
- The RNC saw Thiel, a billionaire philanthropist who has been conspicuously silent throughout the runup to the congressional midterm elections, give $101,700 to its cause in July.
- It is the first time he's contributed an amount that big since the 2016 presidential election.
Venture capitalist and Republican megadonor Peter Thiel has made his first six-figure splash in the 2018 midterm election cycle, according to newly posted Federal Election Commission records.
The RNC saw Thiel, a billionaire philanthropist who has been conspicuously silent throughout the runup to the congressional midterm elections, give $101,700 to its cause in July. It is the biggest amount he has donated to a political cause since the 2016 presidential election, according to records.
He had previously made a donation of more than $66,000 in September 2017 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect GOP members of Congress.
In the lead-up to Thiel's latest donation, allies of President Donald Trump were concerned that the PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor would be absent in this year's midterms after he was given a cold shoulder by some members of the administration.
However, Trump-aligned super PACs such as America First Action have been preparing to court Thiel in an effort to bring him into the fray.
The RNC raised $14.2 million throughout the month of July, bringing its total haul for the 2018 election cycle to $227 million.
Representatives for Thiel and the RNC did not return a request for comment.
Thiel's donation is an indication that his loyalty to Trump could be a saving grace for the GOP as it tries to maintain majorities in the House and Senate.
The PayPal co-founder was one of Trump's earliest supporters when he first ran for the White House two years ago.
At the time, he gave $1 million to Make America Number 1, a pro-Trump super PAC chaired by GOP conservative megadonor Rebekah Mercer. He also shelled out $250,000 to Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee, and just over $230,000 to the RNC. He also was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Thiel again voiced his respect for Trump on Monday during an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He told the crowd that he admires the president because he doesn't follow the typical political playbook.
"I got to meet a lot of people running for president on the U.S. Republican side in 2016 and they all felt like zombies," he said. "They couldn't say anything different other than programmed ideological soundbites."
Trump, on the other hand, is "a very healthy corrective to that," Thiel added.