Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and gay investor Peter Thiel dined with President Donald Trump at the White House in October, according to a new report from NBC News.
The cordial visit may not be too surprising considering that Thiel, Trump’s most prominent Silicon Valley supporter, sits on the board for Facebook. The visit with the notoriously dishonest president came during the same trip to Washington where Zuckerberg in congressional testimony defended allowing intentionally false political advertising on the platform.
Facebook defended the meeting.
“As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House,” read a statement from Trump to NBC.
Zuckerberg previously met in the Oval Office with Trump in September.
Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal, donated more than $1.25 million to get Trump elected president in 2016 and spoke the same year at the Republican National Convention. His support for Trump despite the administration’s homophobic policy has been controversial among LGBTQ activists for years now. An employee of Thiel’s was also tied to the Cambridge Analytics data-targeting scandal that led to Trump’s surprise victory.
Facebook has become a frequent political target on the left and right.
Pete Buttigieg, an out presidential candidate, came under some fire for hiring an employee who had a job recommendation from Zuckerberg and has stressed a need to regulate Facebook. Zuckerberg, for his part, said the employee recommendation should not be read as support of Buttigieg.
Trump himself has accused Facebook of political bias during a June interview with Fox Business Network.