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Peter Thiel, Trump's biggest supporter in Silicon Valley, is reportedly pumping nearly $1 million into a US Senate race in Kansas as he seeks new allies in Congress

trump kobach thiel trump kobach thiel
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has thrown his money behind US Senate candidate Kris Kobach.
Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has given $850,000 to a super PAC that's backing Kris Kobach's US Senate run in Kansas, reported Tuesday.
  • Thiel previously donated money to pro-Kobach groups during his failed 2018 bid for governor, and is closely aligned with his anti-immigration policies, according to Recode.
  • Thiel has been looking for congressional candidates to put his money behind since abandoning Trump's reelection campaign earlier this month, saying the president faces slim prospects in November.
  • Thiel is rare among Silicon Valley elites in his support of Trump and his anti-immigrant positions, despite having been born overseas himself.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

2020欧洲杯小组赛Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has been spending big in a US Senate race in Kansas, pumping $850,000 into a super PAC called Free Forever that backs Kris Kobach for the seat, reported Tuesday.

During a last fall, Thiel told attendees that he would put his money behind Kobach — a hard-line Republican who was once in the running to be President Donald Trump's immigration czar — in an effort to take on the GOP establishment candidate, according to Recode.

2020欧洲杯小组赛Kobach is running against Rep. Roger Marshall, the preferred establishment candidate, in a race that could turn the historically red state into a key 2020 battleground as Republicans increasingly of the Senate. 

But Thiel's motivations appear to be geared more toward gaining new potential allies in Washington, according to Recode.

While he has been one of Trump's few high-profile supporters in the tech industry, Thiel backed away from the president's reelection campaign earlier this month, saying he thought Trump had a slim chance at winning2020欧洲杯小组赛 in November.

Since then, he has financially backed Sen. Tom Cotton and gotten closer with Sen. Josh Hawley (who shares Thiel's criticisms of Google's business in China as unpatriotic), Recode reported.

Kobach and Thiel are similarly in favor of stricter immigration policies, and Thiel is a co-founder of Palantir, a data analytics firm that works closely with US immigration enforcement agencies.

The two have crossed political and financial paths before as well. reported in 2008 that Thiel had donated to anti-immigration group NumbersUSA, which has since become a . Thiel also served on Trump's transition committee that had considered Kobach for immigration czar. More recently, The Kansas City Star reported that Thiel had to a "dark money" group backing Kobach.

Thiel's tech industry résumé includes co-founding PayPal, sitting on Facebook's board, and starting VC firm Founders Fund, but he has also attracted controversy along the way with

2020欧洲杯小组赛In a 2009 essay, Thiel argued that American democracy has declined , and in the early days of Trump's presidency, Thiel supported his on refugees from Muslim-majority countries.

"He has a really strong preference for people who stick their middle finger up to the status quo and conventional wisdom," a source close to Thiel told Recode, adding: "There is nobody who I think was more obviously sticking his middle finger up at conventional wisdom quite like Kris Kobach."

More: Donald Trump Peter Thiel Kris Kobach Super PACs
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