Tech mogul Peter Thiel says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBipartisan group of mayors asks for immigration reform Obama offers laments and optimism at last presser Overnight Energy: Trump's EPA pick faces Congress | 2016 is the hottest year on record MORE was both funny and "apocalyptic" during the presidential campaign.
“The election had an apocalyptic feel to it,” he told The New York Times in a new interview.
“There was a way in which Trump was funny, so you could be apocalyptic at the same time,” the PayPal co-founder added. "It’s a strange combination, but it’s somehow very powerful psychologically.”
Thiel, who is now a member of Trump’s transition team, said the president-elect has gradually won over some of his loudest detractors.
“Somehow, I think Silicon Valley got even more spun up than Manhattan,” he said of the national climate before Election Day. "There were hedge fund people I spoke to about a week after the election. They hadn’t supported Trump.
“But all of a sudden, they sort of changed their minds. The stock market went up, and they were like, ‘Yes, I don’t understand why I was against him all year long.’ ”
“Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much. Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the more plausible risk to me.”
Thiel was an outspoken Trump supporter during last year’s presidential campaign and spoke on the billionaire’s behalf during July’s Republican National Convention.
The venture capitalist additionally revealed during as separate Q&A with the Times that he would be "fine" if California seceded and agreed with Trump that award-winning actress Meryl Streep is "overrated."
He denied, however, that he has authored any of Trump's tweets and said he did not arrange the seating for the president-elect's highly publicized meeting with tech industry leaders in December. The event boasted such Silicon Valley luminaries as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Tesla's Elon Musk.
— This report was updated at 8:32 a.m.