Peter Thiel sours on Trump's reelection chances: report

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is distancing himself from the campaign of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days 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. 


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 BidenOn The Money: Economists flabbergasted after Congress leaves with no deal | Markets rise as the economy struggles | Retail sales slow in July Congress exits with no deal, leaving economists flabbergasted Trump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' 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 says he'll sign USPS funding if Democrats make concessions Chamber to launch ads defending embattled GOP senators McConnell warns control of Senate 'could go either way' in November 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.