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Inside Silicon Valley’s Trump Fundraiser: Winklevoss Twins and VC Support Raise $12M

 June 9, 2024

Donald Trump impressed Silicon Valley with eloquence and thoughtfulness at a high-profile fundraiser, securing over $12 million for his presidential campaign.

The event, hosted by venture capitalist David Sacks, took place in San Francisco's Pacific Heights and drew over 100 attendees, as the New York Post reports.

Held at Sacks' multimillion-dollar home, the event aimed to raise funds for Trump’s presidential campaign. With over 100 attendees paying up to $300,000 each, the fundraiser successfully brought in millions.

Prominent Figures in Attendance

The guest list included notable Silicon Valley figures such as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Jacob Helberg, Shervin Pishevar, Tom Siebel, Joe Voboril, and Chamath Palihapitiya. Among the crowd were also a handful of employees from Coinbase, highlighting the diverse representation from the tech community.

Sen. J.D. Vance from Ohio introduced Trump to the audience, setting the stage for a nearly 45-minute speech. Trump began by referencing his late uncle, John G. Trump, a professor at MIT, establishing a personal connection with the audience.

Trump’s Address on Key Issues

During his own speech, Trump emphasized the importance of artificial intelligence innovation and the energy requirements associated with it. He argued that fossil fuels are necessary to meet these energy demands, stating, “Fossil fuel is the only way to do it … solar and wind just can’t cut it.”

Trump also touched on foreign policy, discussing threats from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He noted that Russia has become wealthier, more powerful, and more aggressive since he left office, highlighting the changing dynamics on the global stage.

Attendees’ Reactions

One source described Trump as “very thoughtful and self-deprecating,” noting a stark contrast to his television persona. Another guest remarked on the “surreal” experience of attending a pro-Trump event in the liberal-leaning Pacific Heights, just blocks from Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s mansion.

Jacob Helberg, a notable attendee, commented on the energy and excitement for a Republican presidential candidate in Silicon Valley, describing it as unprecedented. He suggested that the event was indicative of a generational realignment among various groups, including technology founders, Millennials, gays, and Jewish Americans.

Remarks on Progressive Policies

Many attendees were described as apolitical or independent, with a significant portion expressing disillusionment with the Biden presidency. A source indicated that support for Trump at the event was driven more by backlash against progressive policies than by genuine admiration for the former president.

Throughout his speech, Trump made several notable comments, including a brief criticism of Securities and Exchange Commissioner Gary Gensler. He also jokingly referred to the Winklevoss twins as “the guys who created Facebook."

Trump’s Serious Approach

Trump’s approach to the event appeared serious and well-prepared. One guest noted that Trump had made notes he wanted to reference, a departure from his usual off-the-cuff style. “He took it seriously,” the guest remarked.

The event underscored the shifting political landscape in Silicon Valley, with attendees reflecting a mix of political affiliations and perspectives. As one Trump advisor noted, “Crypto radicalized and politicized people,” indicating the impact of technological advancements on political views.

Conclusion: A Shift in Silicon Valley Politics

In conclusion, the high-profile fundraiser in Pacific Heights marked a significant moment in Trump’s campaign, raising over $12 million and drawing support from a diverse group of Silicon Valley insiders.

The event highlighted the growing disillusionment with progressive policies and underscored a potential generational realignment in political affiliations within the tech community.

As Jacob Helberg stated, “When they see one of their peers embrace him, it changes things,” suggesting that Trump’s influence may be extending into traditionally blue communities.