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Peter Thiel in 2019.

Photo illustration: 731; Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Peter Thiel Gamed Silicon Valley, Donald Trump, and Democracy to Make Billions, Tax-Free

In an exclusive excerpt from The Contrarian, a new biography, the disruption-preaching power broker is revealed as just another rich guy desperate to keep his fortune from the IRS.

The meeting started with a thank-you. President-elect Donald Trump was planted at a long table on the 25th floor of his Manhattan tower. Trump sat dead center, per custom, and, also per custom, looked deeply satisfied with himself. He was joined by his usual coterie of lackeys and advisers and, for a change, the heads of the largest technology companies in the world.

“These are monster companies,” Trump declared, beaming at a group that included Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and the chief executives of Google, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, and IBM. Then he acknowledged the meeting’s organizer, Peter Thiel.