- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and board member Peter Thiel met secretly with President Trump in October.
- The purpose of the meeting – and why it wasn’t disclosed by the White House – remains unknown.
- After Facebook revealed the meeting had taken place, Democrats dragged Zuckerberg on Twitter.
President Donald Trump invited Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and board member Peter Thiel to a White House dinner in October, but didn’t disclose the meeting to the public.
Facebook told NBC News about the secret meeting on Wednesday. The dinner took place at the White House while Zuckerberg was in Washington to testify to Congress about his company’s Libra cryptocurrency.
Crypto Goes to Washington
It’s a sign of the times that two towering figures in the cryptocurrency industry met secretly with the president of the United States in October.
There’s no word on what was discussed, although it’s hard to imagine cryptocurrency wasn’t at least mentioned in passing, given that Zuckerberg had just testified before Congress about Libra.
It’s just as likely that the trio discussed the 2020 election or national security. Given the scope of Facebook’s surveillance power, it’s now a perfect channel for the US intel community.
And one of Peter Thiel’s other companies, Palantir Technologies, is a major US government partner, with an $800 million US Army contract to build software for the battlefield.
But the mere fact that some of crypto’s leading innovators wield such political clout bodes well for the future of disruptive financial tech innovation. Thiel is an avowed “bitcoin maximalist” who’s invested a tidy sum in blockchain startups like BlockFi’s crypto lending and interest-earning crypto accounts.