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Peter Thiel sours on Trump's reelection chances: report

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is distancing himself from the campaign of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE amid fears that he will not win reelection, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Thiel, a vocal supporter of Trump in 2016, reportedly "soured" on the president's reelection chances, with the Journal reporting that he said he thinks the economy will be in a major recession come November due to the pandemic and a challenger would face better odds against a sitting president.

The venture capitalist and co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention and donated $1.25 million that year to Trump's campaign and other pro-Trump groups. Thiel is not scheduled to speak at this year’s convention. 

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Though he might vote for the president personally, sources told the Journal that Thiel has said Trump is vulnerable to a challenge from former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Thiel is not expected to publicly break with the president. 

Confidants of Thiel told the Journal he’s likely to shift his financial support of Trump to House and Senate races. His PAC, Free Forever, is supporting Kris Kobach’s campaign to fill the Kansas Senate seat left vacant by Republican Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump's controversial Fed nominee stalled after Senate setback Business groups scramble to forge ties amid race for House Agriculture chair Republicans hold on to competitive Kansas House seat MORE's retirement.

A spokesman for Thiel didn't comment for the Journal story and the venture capitalist himself didn't respond to the newspaper's requests for comment. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Journal that Thiel remains a supporter of the president.

The Daily Beast reported earlier this year that people in Thiel's orbit had said he had been critical of the president's handling of the pandemic. Sources told the Journal for its story Friday that he has been more critical in his assessment of Trump's reelection campaign and its core argument for voters.