Peter Thiel does not want to lead Trump’s intelligence advisory board anymore: report

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, according to a new report.

As Silicon Valley’s main backer of Donald Trump before the 2016 election, Thiel has acted as a bridge between Trump and Silicon Valley. Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, was interested in making the move to Washington as the chief of PIAB, Vanity Fair reported in September.

But the Atlantic reported Wednesday that Thiel turned down the chance, and it is unclear why. The senior White House position independently monitors America’s spy agencies and directly counsels the president.

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Thiel’s withdrawal from consideration for the position capped what has been a very eventful November for him. Thiel and Y Combinator, a prominent Silicon Valley startup accelerator, quietly cut ties with each other. Thiel also sold three-fourths of his remaining Facebook shares for more than $28 million. He sold 80 percent of his original shares in 2012, a few months before Facebook’s IPO.

Thiel has also revisited his feud with the now-defunct media website Gawker, hinting he may want to buy the website and its archives. Lawyers for Gawker on Tuesday said Thiel, who was revealed as the secret financier of a lawsuit brought by wrestler Hulk Hogan against Gawker, is not fit to purchase Gawker because he is “premised on his desire to destroy the business forever.”

Elsewhere in the media world, two Bay Area outlets separately wrote about Thiel and his psychology. Stanford Politics, a student-run political journal, uncovered Thiel’s long ties with his college-era brainchild journal, the Stanford Review, and how his business empire was built with talents harvested from the Review.

San Francisco Magazine wrote about Thiel’s philosophical beliefs and his fascination with the apocalypse and Donald Trump.

Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, center, listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 14, 2016. (Evan Vucci/AP)


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  • John Hooker

    It is very likely that Michael Anton and Peter Thiel have planned all along to render the intelligence advisory board obsolete. It can easily be viewed as a deep state relic that perpetuates itself beyond the public view. If you are for transparency, it makes sense to get rid of the body altogether and it’s dubious as to whether it does any good.