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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Peter Thiel that his support of Trump made Facebook look bad

It always comes back to emails.

Donald Trump and Peter Thiel in an awkward handshake
Donald Trump with Peter Thiel (r)
Drew Angerer / Getty

Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, told venture capitalist Peter Thiel in an email during the 2016 presidential election that Thiel had displayed “catastrophically bad judgment” for his support of Donald Trump. The two Facebook board members’ previously unreported spat shows just how isolated Thiel’s politics have made him in Silicon Valley.

That’s via the New York Times, which reported Tuesday that Hastings, the chair of Facebook’s Board of Directors committee that evaluates other board members, told Thiel that he could suffer professionally for his politics.

“I see our board being about great judgment, particularly in unlikely disaster where we have to pick new leaders,” Hastings wrote in an email dated August 14 obtained by the Times. “I’m so mystified by your endorsement of Trump for our President, that for me it moves from ‘different judgment’ to ‘bad judgment.’ Some diversity in views is healthy, but catastrophically bad judgment (in my view) is not what anyone wants in a fellow board member.”

Thiel, a proudly contrarian investor, gave millions to super PACs that supported Trump and spoke on his behalf at the Republican National Convention just a few weeks before Hastings sent his note. The email seems to complicate what Thiel said in the final days before the election — that despite his advocacy for Trump, his “close working business relationships, I think all those are very well intact.”

Thiel said at the National Press Club in October that his “company,” at least, had not “in any meaningful way” experienced blowback from consumers or vendors.

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