Facebook today confirmed what has long been rumored: Donald Trump hosted a dinner which was not disclosed to the public in October 2019 with Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel, at the White House.
The secret White House dinner with Trump, Thiel, and Zuckerberg happened around the time when Zuck testified before Congress about the Libra cryptocurrency project, which failed.
From Dylan Byers and Ben Collins reporting for NBC News:
"As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
A source familiar with the dinner told NBC News that Thiel was also present. It is unclear why the meeting was not made public or what Trump, Zuckerberg and Thiel discussed.
The White House declined to comment.
The dinner was the second meeting between Zuckerberg and Trump in a month. Zuckerberg also met with the president in the Oval Office during a September visit to the capital.
Zuckerberg, Trump, Melania, and Thiel had a secret dinner at the White House last month.
Facebook has been preaching political transparency. Yet it didn't disclose this. https://t.co/zVqYC0O4np
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) November 21, 2019
I genuinely don't understand why @Facebook would issue such a smarmy response here. The "As is normal" phrasing does them no favors.
If it's so utterly normal and banal, why not announce it? Why is it going viral, if it is so normal? Made it worse.
— Mat Honan (@mat) November 21, 2019
It's unclear why Facebook and the White House didn't admit Zuckerberg, Trump and Peter Thiel had this dinner until we found out separately and asked Facebook.
It's also unclear what the Facebook CEO, board member and president talked about.https://t.co/6j0i0NNd3o
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 21, 2019
Major "Per my email" vibes. Not a good look. https://t.co/U3VgBAZlyW
— drew olanoff (@yoda) November 21, 2019
SECRET DINNER with @realDonaldTrump – Peter Thiel & Mark Zuckerberg…
WHY WOULD IT NEED TO BE SECRET? https://t.co/FdWLDyJKiX
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) November 21, 2019
Remember when White House visitor logs were a thing? https://t.co/FzxRTS1udN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 21, 2019
For a company that wants to appear to be apolitical, it certainly is spending a lot of time being political. https://t.co/Qq7PjMHYXX
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) November 21, 2019