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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, September 19, 2021

The meeting started with a thank-you. President-elect Donald Trump was planted at a long table on the 25th floor of his Manhattan tower. Trump sat dead center, per custom, and, also per custom, looked deeply satisfied with himself. He was joined by his usual coterie of lackeys and advisers and, for a change, the heads of the largest technology companies in the world.

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...Thiel sat next to Trump with his arms tucked under the table, as if trying to shrink away from the president-elect. "I want to start by thanking Peter," Trump began. "He saw something very early"maybe before we saw it." Trump reached below the table groping for Thiel's hand, found it, and raised it. "He's been so terrific, so outstanding, and he got just about the biggest applause at the Republican National Convention," he said, patting Thiel's fist affectionately. "I want to thank you, man. You're a very special guy."...

But Trump's presidency would not end badly for Thiel, who didn't comment for this article, adapted from my forthcoming book, The Contrarian. Thiel's companies would win government contracts, and his net worth would soar"and it would, crucially, remain in the legal tax shelter that he's spent half his career trying to protect. As a venture capitalist, Thiel had made it his business to find up-and-comers, invest in their success, and then sell his stock when it was financially advantageous to do so. Now he was doing the same with a U.S. president....

A week later, Thiel reported to Trump Tower with a half-dozen aides. They were Thiel's type: young, smart, and attractive. "They looked like male models," Bannon recalls. The group, led by Blake Masters, a longtime aide who'd served as Thiel's Zero to One co-writer, was given the job of suggesting appointees who could drastically limit the scope of "the administrative state."

As a political animal, Thiel possessed instincts that could seem almost comically bad. His list of 150 names for senior-level jobs included numerous figures who were too extreme even for the most extreme members of Trump's inner circle. Many were ultra-libertarians or reactionaries; others were more difficult to categorize. "Peter's idea of disrupting government is out there," Bannon says. "People thought Trump was a disrupter. They had no earthly idea."

For Trump's science adviser, Thiel suggested two climate change deniers, Princeton physicist William Happer and Yale computer scientist David Gelernter. For the head of the Food and Drug Administration, Thiel offered, among other names, Balaji Srinivasan, an entrepreneur with no obvious experience in government, who seemed skeptical that the FDA should exist at all. "For every thalidomide," Srinivasan had tweeted (and later deleted), "many dead from slowed approvals."

Bannon brought them all to meet with Trump but didn't endorse the picks. "Balaji is a genius," he says. "But it was too much." Bannon knew it was unrealistic to nominate a provocateur who'd implied he wanted to get rid of the FDA to run said agency. Doing so would have gotten Trump branded a radical"and not the good kind. Bannon continues, "That's not a confirmation hearing you're going to win in the first 100 days. Remember, we're a coalition, and the Republican establishment was aghast at what we were doing."...



#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-09-19 11:56 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

Full title of the article:

Peter Thiel Gamed Silicon Valley, Donald Trump, and Democracy to Make Billions, Tax-Free

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2021-09-19 12:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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