- REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made time for a private dinner with President Donald Trump while in Washington for a congressional hearing in October.
- The dinner included the Facebook board member Peter Thiel – the investor and entrepreneur who cofounded PayPal and Palantir and who supports Trump.
- In a tweet Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren called out the previously unreported dinner as “corruption, plain and simple.”
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts came out swinging at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and President Donald Trump in a tweet on Thursday.
“Amid antitrust scrutiny, Facebook is going on a charm offensive with Republican lawmakers,” she said. “And now, Mark Zuckerberg and one of Facebook’s board members – a major Trump donor – had a secret dinner with Trump. This is corruption, plain and simple.”
Warren’s criticism came in response to news that Zuckerberg and Trump met for a private dinner while the Facebook CEO was in Washington last month.
“This is how the government keeps working for giant corporations and the wealthy and well-connected,” she said. “It’s no wonder that companies like Facebook have been allowed to consolidate economic and political power without any real accountability.”
NBC News reported on Thursday that Trump and Zuckerberg had dinner in October, which was previously unknown. Facebook confirmed the report.
The investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel was also part of the dinner.
Thiel, an early investor in Facebook, cofounded PayPal and Palantir and, more recently, bankrolled the lawsuit that shut down Gawker. He’s been a longtime Facebook board member after being an early investor in the company. He’s also an outspoken libertarian and Trump supporter.
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg and Trump have privately met – the two had a surprise meeting in September 2018 when Zuckerberg was meeting with lawmakers in Washington on behalf of Facebook.
It’s unlikely to be the last time they’ll meet, as Facebook faces scrutiny from government regulators for a variety of things: controversy around political ads on its social-media services, the introduction of a new currency named Libra, and various antitrust concerns.