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Jessica Mathews

Peter Thiel explains his decision not to fund any presidential candidates in 2024

(Credit: Stephanie Keith—Getty Images)

Peter Thiel, the renowned tech investor and Republican megadonor, is opening up about his decision to take a step back during the 2024 election cycle.

Thiel, who has said little publicly of his plans until now, told Fortune in an interview that he will be “less involved” in the forthcoming presidential election, though he does intend to vote for the Republican candidate. And he confirmed for the first time an earlier report that, citing sources familiar with his thinking, he would not financially support any of the candidates.

Thiel said that while there were “a lot of different, complicated reasons” for his decision not to donate, he isn't convinced that money matters at the presidential level. 

“They'll get their message out or they will not get it out,” Thiel said. “They will convince people or they will not convince people. And an extra $1 million or $10 million does not make any difference.”

Following the interview, Thiel provided an additional statement to Fortune saying that he was “unpersuaded that this election will focus on the issue that matters most: ending our decades-long technological and economic stagnation.”

Thiel, who is known for cofounding PayPal and being Facebook’s earliest investor, wouldn’t specify which candidate he intends to vote for at this time. “I'll vote for the Republican,” he said.

Thiel served on former President Donald Trump’s transition committee in 2016. He donated $1.25 million to Trump’s first presidential campaign and other groups, though it appears Thiel sat out from backing Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, according to news reports and OpenSecrets records.

Thiel made $35.4 million in federal contributions in 2022, according to OpenSecrets, making him among one of the 10 largest donors that year, behind donors including hedge fund managers George Soros and Ken Griffin and the ill-famed crypto startup founder Sam Bankman-Fried. 

A source told Reuters earlier this year that Thiel was unhappy with the GOP's “focus on hot-button U.S. cultural issues,” such as abortion or bathroom restrictions.

Thiel spoke at the Republican National Convention in summer 2016, where he described Trump as “a builder” and said it was “time to rebuild America.”

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