Peter Thiel, Donald Trump Jr. to co-host fundraisers for Cheney challenger

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Tech billionaire Peter Thiel and Donald Trump Jr. are co-hosting a pair of January fundraisers for Wyoming Republican Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed primary challenger running against GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, according to an invitation to be sent out to GOP donors Thursday.

Thiel, a PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor who has emerged as one of the most sought-after donors in the Republican Party, is hosting the Jan. 26 fundraiser for Hageman’s campaign at his Miami home. That same day, Thiel is also slated to host a separate event benefiting Wyoming Values PAC, a pro-Hageman super PAC.

Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, are listed as the special guests for the two fundraisers.

Hageman is looking to close the financial gap with Cheney, who through the end of September had more than $3.6 million in her campaign account. Cheney has seen her fundraising numbers swell this year, as she drew attention for her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, including her January vote to impeach him, and her prominent role on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Hageman, who has received Trump’s endorsement, reporting having about $245,000 in the bank at the end of September, after launching her campaign just weeks earlier.

Thiel, a Trump ally who has met with the former president multiple times this year, views unseating Cheney as a priority, those familiar with his thinking say. While Thiel’s interest in defeating the congresswoman is partly due to her attacks on the former president, those close to the libertarian-minded Thiel say it also reflects his distaste for Cheney's hawkish views on defense and foreign policy.

The tech entrepreneur has already donated the maximum-allowed $5,800 to Hageman’s campaign. Thiel has also donated to Washington State Republican Joe Kent — another Trump-endorsed candidate running against GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, who like Cheney backed Trump’s impeachment over his role in the Jan 6. Capitol siege.

Thiel has become one of the Republican Party’s most prominent donors in 2021, with down-ballot candidates and future presidential hopefuls eager to court him. He has made a pair of record-breaking $10 million contributions to super PACs backing two protégés who are running for Senate, Arizona Republican Blake Masters and Ohio Republican J.D. Vance.

The invitation to the Jan. 26 fundraiser for Hageman’s campaign also lists several other prominent national GOP donors, including businessman Marc Goldman and gasoline executive Max Alvarez. Those familiar with Hageman’s campaign say that most of the money she raised this year came from within Wyoming.

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