Tech billionaire Peter Thiel, a supporter of President Donald Trump who has helped advise the former real estate mogul on technology policy, is privately worried about the success of the Trump administration, according to BuzzFeed.
Reporter Ryan Mac spoke with several associates of Thiel who said he has made disparaging comments about Trump’s presidency in private while continuing to support Trump publicly.
“There is a 50% chance this whole thing ends in disaster,” two people claim Thiel said at an event with friends in January. The report also claims Thiel described the Trump administration as “incompetent” at an event in May.
In an interview with The New York Times also in January, Thiel reaffirmed his support for Trump, confronting criticisms he faced about Trump’s platform, including his approach to LGBTQ issues (“I think Trump is very good on gay rights”) and Trump’s penchant for discussing foreign policy on social media (“A Twitter war is not a real war”).
In that interview, Thiel alluded to WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan’s infamous case against Gawker Media, which Thiel funded. (Hogan sued Gawker for publishing a sex tape without his permission and won, prompting Gawker Media to file for bankruptcy.)
“People thought the whole Trump thing was fake, that it wasn’t going to go anywhere, that it was the most ridiculous thing imaginable, and then somehow he won, like Hogan did,” Thiel told the Times.
Thiel was praised for his remarks at the Republican National Convention in July 2016, where he made history as the first openly gay speaker to talk about his sexual orientation at the event.
Thiel’s name had been floated for several major roles during Trump’s tenure, including, at one point, Supreme Court justice nominee. He said in January he did not plan to take any job with Trump’s administration.
Read more on Thiel at BuzzFeed.