WASHINGTON – Entrepreneur Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, said Hillary Clinton would be “much more confrontational” and “dangerous” with foreign affairs as president when compared to Donald Trump.
National Press Club President Thomas Burr asked Thiel if he is concerned about Trump’s “temperament” when it comes to the nuclear codes.
“I think he [Trump] wouldn’t even get us into a situation where it would be even close with respect to Russia, so I think if you actually look at the specifics, where might something happen, where might something go wrong, I would think that in some ways Hillary is much more dangerous than Trump. I don’t think Hillary would get us into a nuclear war, either, but it’s a much more confrontational foreign policy,” Thiel said during a “Newsmakers” event at the National Press Club today.
Thiel announced in mid-October that he planned to donate $1.25 million to Trump’s campaign. Thiel, who spoke at the Republican National Convention, said LGBT magazine The Advocate turned on him since the endorsement. Thiel argued that someone only counts as “diverse” if they are aligned with liberal political views.
“The Advocate, a magazine which once praised me as a gay innovator, even published an article saying that as of now I am, and I quote, ‘not a gay man,’ unquote, because I don’t agree with their politics,” he said. “The lie behind the buzzword of diversity could not be made more clear. If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as diverse, no matter what your personal background.”
Thiel said voters who support Trump are “tired of war,” want less government regulation particularly on small businesses, and believe free trade has “not worked” for America as a whole.
“Faced with such contempt, why do voters still support Donald Trump? Even if they think the American situation is serious, why would they think Trump of all people could make it better? I think it is because of the big things that Trump gets right,” he said. “For example, free trade has not worked out well for all of America. It helps Trump that the other side just does not get it. All of our elites preach free trade. The highly educated people who make public policy explain that cheap imports make everyone a winner according to economic theory, but in actual practice we’ve lost tens of thousands of factories and millions of jobs to foreign trade. The heartland has been devastated.”
Thiel said the size of the U.S. trade deficit shows that something has gone “badly wrong.”
“The most-developed country in the world should be exporting capital to less-developed countries. Instead, the United States is importing more than $500 billion,” he said.
Thiel argued that Trump, a businessman and real-estate developer, understands the effect of overregulation on small businesses. He said large companies often do not mind government regulations because they help put smaller competitors out of business.
“Temperamentally, I think Trump understands the ways in which government regulations — they are not that bad for big business because big business has the resources to deal with them, and sometimes big business likes regulation because it knocks out the small businesses that might compete,” he said.
“But it is catastrophic for small businesses, and there has been much less formation of small businesses in the last decade or so in the U.S. relative to the historical baseline. You can debate why this happens, why questions are always hard to answer, but my instinct is it does have something to do with the toughness of the regulatory climate in this country,” he added.
Following the program, a group of reporters waited to speak with Thiel but he left the building quickly and did not take additional questions on-site.