Jul 16, 2019 - Technology

Trump says administration "will take a look" at Peter Thiel's Google allegations

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that his administration "will take a look" at billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel's statement over the weekend that Google should be federally investigated for allegedly aiding the Chinese military.

Why it matters, per Axios' David McCabe: Thiel is the tech industry's highest-profile Trump supporter, and one of the most powerful players in Silicon Valley.

  • Thiel provided no evidence to back up his claims when pressed on Monday, stating that he was just "raising questions," per Recode's Teddy Schleifer.
  • Trump said in his tweet that Thiel is "a great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone."
  • Trump's chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow brushed off Thiel's allegations during a Fox Business interview on Monday: "I'm just not sure where he's going with this."

What Thiel said on Sunday, requesting that the following questions "need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA":

"Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?
"Number two, does Google's senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?
"Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military... because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn't go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?"

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