President Trump on Tuesday morning said his administration will “take a look” into Google following statements made earlier this week by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel. Shares of Alphabet were slightly lower in pre-market trading.
“Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason,” Trump said in a tweet. “He accuses Google of working with the Chinese Government… A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!”
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on Trump’s tweet.
“Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI (artificial intelligence)?” Thiel said, according to Axios. “Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence? Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military,” Thiel said during the National Conservatism Conference in Washington.
On Tuesday, fellow Palantir co-founder Joe Londsdale echoed Thiel’s comments on CNBC.
“Google is not a patriotic company,” he said. “Everyone in [Silicon] Valley knows that the Chinese government is very involved,” Lonsdale told “Squawk Alley” in an interview, though he didn’t point to any clear evidence. “It’s something we don’t talk about a lot. It was very courageous of [Thiel] to talk about it.”
“As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military,” Google said this week in response to Thiel’s comments. It reiterated that statement on Tuesday.