Peter Thiel defends Trump, slams critics who say he’s ‘not a gay man’

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Tech billionaire Peter Thiel has defended his support of Donald Trump in a speech, while slamming critics who’ve questioned his right to call himself gay.

The PayPal co-founder said that Trump was the right response to an America that is in “decline,” calling the election campaign “less crazy than the condition of our country.”

Thiel discussed the criticism he’s received personally for his decision to publicly back Trump, which has led some to even insist that he’s “not a gay man.”

“This intolerance has taken on some bizarre forms,” he said during his 15-minute speech at the National Press Club.

“The Advocate, a magazine which once praised me as a ‘gay innovator’, even published an article saying that as of now I am, and I quote, ‘not a gay man,’ because I don’t agree with their politics.

“The lie behind the buzzword of ‘diversity’ could not be made more clear: if you don’t conform, then you don’t count as ‘diverse’, no matter what your personal background.”

Despite defending Trump, he admitted that he doesn’t agree with “everything” the Republican candidate “has said and done.”

“Nobody thinks his comments about women were acceptable; I agree they were clearly offensive and inappropriate,” he said.

“But I don’t think voters pull the lever in order to endorse a candidate’s flaws. It’s not a lack of judgement that leads Americans to vote for Trump; we’re voting for Trump because we judge the leadership of our country to have failed.”

More generally, he argued that “no matter what happens in this election, what Trump represents is not crazy and it’s not going away. He points to a new Republican Party beyond the dogmas of Reaganism.

“When the distracting spectacles of this election season are forgotten, the only important question will be whether or not that new politics came too late.”

Thiel has had a controversial year. He was revealed to be the financial backer behind the $140 million Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker as “revenge” for them outing him in 2007.

He later spoke at the Republican National Convention, telling the audience that he was “proud to be gay,” before drawing criticism for donating $1.25 million to Trump’s campaign.

It’s since been revealed that he once described date rape as “belated regret,” which went down about as well as you might expect.