Silicon Valley held a secret fundraiser for Trump

Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems

Getty Images

Scott McNealy hosted Trump's fundraiser at his Palo Alto home.

  • Trump's Silicon Valley donors traveled to a secret location in Palo Alto, California on Tuesday to attend a fundraiser for the president where tickets cost as much as $100,000 per couple, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
  • Attendees weren't told in advance where the event would be or who would be hosting. Instead, they were asked to meet at a remote location before being shuttled to the host's house - reported to be that of Sun Microsystems cofounder Scott McNealy.
  • Trump has made few inroads in Silicon Valley in the past and the industry has a historic reputation for being left-leaning. For this reason, fundraising events aren't always welcomed in the area.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Silicon Valley hosted a secretive fundraiser for President Trump in Palo Alto on Tuesday, with tickets costing as much as $100,000 per couple.

The Wall Street Journal reported that attendees weren't told in advance where the event would be or who would be hosting, in part over worries that protesters might turn up en masse.Advertisement

Instead, attendees were asked to meet at a remote location before being shuttled to the host's house. Campaign aides and advisers declined to disclose the location and its host, because of privacy and security concerns.

It turned out that Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems, was hosting the fundraiser at his Palo Alto home. Crowds of protesters caught wind of the event and duly gathered nearby along with, apparently, a giant balloon depicting Trump as a baby.

Tweet Embed:
Shame on #libertarian @scottmcnealy --fundraising with @realdonaldtrump in Portola Valley. #resist #NoWall #ClimateStrike #RacistInChief Embed:
Protesting @realDonaldTrump in Portola Valley, California. Embed:
I was a proud protester at his fundraising luncheon in Portola valley this morning!

The secrecy is indicative of Trump's status in Silicon Valley. The president has made few inroads in the tech industry in the past, and the wider industry has a reputation for being left-leaning.

In the 2016 election, nearly 99% of the political donations from Silicon Valley went to Hilary Clinton while just 1% went to Trump, for example.This year, several high-profile figures have already made donations to Democrat presidential hopefuls.Advertisement

According to ABC, prospective Democratic Party candidate Pete Buttigieg has racked up donations from Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, and Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann, among others. Kamala Harris has received cash from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff, and Impossible Foods president Dennis Woodside.

Read more: People are threatening to quit Equinox and SoulCycle following a report that the chairman of the trendy fitness brands plans to host a Trump fundraiser

Silicon Valley's left-leaning tendencies might explain why Republican fundraisers aren't always welcomed in the area.Advertisement

Three years ago, the former chief executive of Intel Corp, Brian Krzanich, was forced to cancel an event for Trump at his Atherton, California home hours after the plan went public because it caused an uproar amongst employees, according to The Journal.

Developer Stephen Ross faced an even bigger backlash this summer after he hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Hamptons mansion and hundreds of people took to social media to boycott the companies that he invests in.