Thiel said to explain support for Trump in convention speech

Thiel said to explain support for Trump in convention speech
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Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel plans to explain his backing of Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want to use 'adversary' to describe Russia Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterms Roby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism MORE during his speech at the party’s national convention on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

BuzzFeed was the first to report on Wednesday that Thiel would discuss the economy, as well Trump’s current positions against American involvement in foreign conflicts. The Washington Post later confirmed that report.

He will also reportedly speak openly speak about his sexuality, making him the first national convention speaker in the history of the Republican to talk openly about being gay. Thiel is the first openly gay speaker since 2000 at the GOP’s convention.

Thiel is a well-known figure within tech circles, but his speech at the Republican convention will likely serve as an introduction to the idiosyncratic venture capitalist for many of the Americans watching.

He has supported conservative causes and candidates since at least his days as an undergraduate at Stanford University, where he founded a right-leaning publication that exists to this day.

His political giving includes both establishment Republicans and insurgents in the party. Famously, he gave $2.6 million to a super-PAC supporting Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign and has given this cycle Utah Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE. But he has also supported House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Kelly lobbied Republicans to rebuke Trump after Putin press conference: report Lobbying world MORE (Wis.) in the past and donated to former a super-PAC supporting Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign this cycle.

Thiel funds a fellowship to incentivize young people to drop out of college to pursue their own projects and has backed a project to establish an autonomous, libertarian society at sea.

He also recently admitted that he is funding a lawsuit filed by the wrestler Terry Bollea, better known by his stage name Hulk Hogan, against Gawker Media. Gawker’s now-defunct offshoot Valleywag was the first media outlet to publicly discuss Thiel’s sexuality.

If Thiel is one of Silicon Valley’s more curious characters, it has not limited his financial success. A founder of PayPal, he has gone on to invest in numerous companies including, most notably, being one of the first outside investors in Facebook. Forbes has estimated his net worth at 2.8 billion.

He is one of the few members of tech elite to publicly back Trump, whose politics and animosity towards tech firms like Apple and Amazon have put him at odds with increasingly powerful donors in Silicon Valley.

It has also put pressure on the companies he is affiliated with to say how they feel about his chosen candidate’s views. Facebook, where he sits on the board, has said he will not be speaking for the company when he takes the stage on Thursday.