Thiel Won’t Confirm That He’s Signed Trump Transition Ethics Agreement

AP

Billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel will not confirm that he’s signed an ethics agreement with President-elect Donald Trump’s White House transition team, raising red flags about conflicts of interest.

The agreement, rolled out five days after Thiel officially joined the transition team on Nov. 11, forbids members to serve as lobbyists for five years after serving and requires them to recuse themselves from any matter that directly relates to their financial interests.

According to a Politico report out Tuesday, Thiel and his top aide on the transition, Blake Masters, have not clarified that they have signed it.

Thiel spokesman Jeremiah Hall did not respond to multiple questions from Politico asking for confirmation, saying only, “Peter’s team wants talented people to work in government. Everyone on the team abides by the rules in pursuing that goal.”

Thiel’s business interests include major corporations like PayPal, Palantir, and Facebook, all of which could benefit from his transition role helping to identify candidates for tech roles in Trump’s administration.

The controversial Silicon Valley player has spent plenty of quality time with the President-elect recently, most recently visiting Trump Tower on Monday afternoon. He also attended a “heroes and villains”-themed costume party at the home of a major Trump donor over the weekend with Trump and his senior advisor Kellyanne Conway. According to Politico, Thiel dressed as Hulk Hogan, the wrestler who sued Gawker Media for publishing his sex tape. Thiel bankrolled the lawsuit, which bankrupted the media company.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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