Ro Khanna has received a total of $7,800 in
contributions from Peter Thiel, right, who is
speaking Thursday on behalf of Donald Trump.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and funding behind the legal case that lead to the bankruptcy of media company Gawker, is speaking on behalf of Donald Trump Thursday at the Republican National Convention.
Thiel is also a prominent donor to Democratic congressional candidate Ro Khanna in the 17th District.
In addition to being a Trump delegate to the convention, Thiel has given $7,800 to Khanna's campaign. It's a fact his opponent, Rep. Mike Honda slammed this week.
“With the rhetoric of hate and division being used so carelessly by the presumptive Republican nominee it is shameful of our opponent, who claims to be a ‘progressive,’ to associate himself so closely with those who are propping up such an intolerant, offensive, and vitriolic candidate,” said Honda.
“It is our moral obligation to take a stand against Mr. Trump and those who back his racist and misogynist campaign. A Trump Presidency would tear down the middle class, divide our country, and undo decades of progress. It is hypocritical of Ro to say he’ll stand up for working families and women and then take money from those helping to get Donald Trump elected.”
In the past, Khanna has vigorously fought to shed criticism that he's a benefactor of Republican campaign contributions or somehow "Republican-lite." The high-profile speech Thursday night, occurring prior to Trump's much-anticipated appearance, could allow that moniker to take hold.
"I am proud of my broad range of support from tech leaders," said Khanna. "This includes tech leaders who support Bernie Sanders and share my vision of strengthening social security and having a $15 minimum wage. It includes visionaries like Sheryl Sandberg who support Hillary Clinton and like my platform of equal pay for equal work. It includes literally hundreds of innovators who helped build Silicon Valley such as Reid Hoffman, Sean Parker, and yes Peter Thiel."
Khanna also said Honda's support among Silicon Valley tech leaders is deficient. "His campaign of desperation is resorting only to negative attacks," he added.
Not only is Thiel vastly unpopular to progressives, his reported secret bankrolling of Hulk Hogan's defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media, has made him a target of media watchers who believe his actions constitute an avenue for the rich to crush dissenting views. A judge later found in favor Hogan and Gawker was forced into bankruptcy.
Thiel's ire toward Gawker, in part, stems from the website previously outing him as gay. A report Wednesday says Thiel will announce he is gay during his remarks at the Republican convention.