Peter Thiel, the German-American billionaire co-founder of PayPal, and one of the first investors in Facebook, loves to hang out with White Nationalist Nazis, apparently. He also likes to hang out with Donald Trump, who also appears to be a White Nationalist Nazi. But the story that broke on Buzzfeed isn't about Donald Trump, although he may be the most famous White Nationalist whom Thiel pals around with.
Buzzfeed reports that Thiel had dinner with "prominent white nationalist Kevin DeAnna" back in July 2016, while also publicly supporting and donating to Donald Trump's campaign — during the same month Thiel spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump.
So who is Kevin DeAnna? The Southern Poverty Law Center describes DeAnna as the head of the now defunct Youth for Western Civilization, a far-right youth organization that he ran from 2006 to 2012. DeAnna was one of the original leaders/founders of the "web-savvy white nationalist movement that would come to be known as the alt-Right." DeAnna "faded from the public eye" after the end of YWC, but he continued working behind the scenes to the keep the white nationalist movement going. He has allegedly written almost 2,000 articles under pseudonyms.
So why does this matter? After all, Thiel was just a donor who dined with a White Nationalist. Many Republicans who currently hold office are White Nationalists, or at least friends with them.
It matters because people in the alt-Right world hoped Thiel's money — and outreach to Donald Trump personally —would give him access and influence Trump. These Nazis hoped to craft and move their White Nationalist views forward in our government.
Based on almost every one of Trump's actions in the last 4 years, it has worked. From Charlottesville's "very fine people on both sides" to Trump refusing to view White Nationlism as a terrorist threat, Trump has done everything in his power to shield the alt-Right from accountability, while simultaneously punishing and criminalizing actions by the very groups the alt-Right seeks to suppress.
Donald Trump is THE best President for the alt-Right.
But Theil doesn't appear to be all in for Trump in 2020 — at least not publicly. He has not given any money at all to Trump's campaign, which is interesting. Buzzfeed reports that the lack of donation is related to Trump's "disastrous response" to coronavirus, citing two people "close to Theil," who say that the pandemic was the "breaking point" for him.
Thiel does continue to support other White Nationalist candidates, though. Most notable is Kris Kobach, who ran for a Senate seat in Kansas - and lost resoundingly. Thiel dumped around $1,000,000 into that losing race.