Venture capitalist admits he ‘misjudged’ Trump — then he exposes the ‘huge gap’ between media coverage and the true Trump

News & Politics

Billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya detailed recently how personally meeting Donald Trump changed his perception of the former president.

Earlier this month, entrepreneur David Sacks hosted a Silicon Valley fundraiser for Trump, raising $12 million. The crowd was full of wealthy tech businessmen and venture capitalists, many of whom Sacks later said were lifelong Democratic voters. Last week, Sacks and Palihapitiya recounted the event on their podcast “All-In.”

‘There is a huge gap between how the media tries to portray Donald Trump and what he’s like when you meet him in person.’

On the podcast, Palihapitiya admitted that he had “misjudged” Trump in the past, and his view of the former president changed after meeting him.

“He is charismatic, he’s intellectually sharp, and he’s funny. And when you put that together, he can engage an audience for a long time and be totally extemporaneous,” Palihapitiya said of Trump.

“The other thing I would say that is, that he is very polite, and he’s kind in a way that was disarming and was not what I expected, and so I felt that I had misjudged him many years in the past,” he explained. “So, I was very glad that I had an opportunity to sit beside him and to actually interact with him one-on-one — it was really, really engaging.”

Palihapitiya explained that his interaction with Trump left a lasting impression, one that exposed the media’s false depictions of him.

“I think that there is a huge gap between how the media tries to portray Donald Trump and what he’s like when you meet him in person — and that gap is really wide,” Palihapitiya said.

Trump, Palihapitiya said, impressed him with his “pro-American” and “pro-innovation” agenda, one that emphasizes “low regulation” and “low taxation.” The platform, Palihapitiya added, “does stand very much in contrast with” the Democratic Party’s agenda.

Sacks told a similar story.

“President Trump is extremely charming. He connects with people in like five seconds. I mean, he meets you and finds something interesting or funny to say, and he’s hilarious,” Sacks recounted.

“When he spoke in the living room, and he talked extemporaneously for an hour, he’s speaking off-the-cuff. Every speech he gives is different,” he explained. “People don’t realize how entertaining he is.”

Something that especially stood out at the fundraiser, Sacks later said, was Trump’s energy level.

“He’s someone who’s very sharp, very on the ball, very funny, and then his energy level is incredible,” Sacks said. “So, he had started his day at Mar-a-Lago at 3:30 a.m. Then, he flew to Arizona, did a Trump rally in Arizona, then he flew to San Francisco for our event. He spent four hours at our event. … Then, he flew to Los Angeles for more events the next day there. So, think about his day and his energy level was just amazing the whole time.”

Earlier this month, Sacks announced his endorsement of Trump.

Sacks explained he decided to support Trump on the basis of Trump’s economy performance, his foreign policy record, the border crisis, and lawfare.

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