Out billionaire Peter Thiel on Monday defended his support for Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president.
Estimated to be worth $2.8 billion, Thiel co-founded PayPal and served as its CEO. He's the current chairman of Palantir and serves on Facebook's board of directors. He is among only a handful of tech entrepreneurs to embrace Trump's campaign.
Earlier this month, Thiel revealed that he was donating $1.25 million to the Trump campaign.
The announcement caused a backlash, including accusations that he was promoting racism and intolerance
On Monday, Thiel gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, where he defended his support for Trump.
Thiel said that Trump is right on the "big things."
"Free trade has not worked out well for all of America," he said. "It helps Trump that the other side just doesn't get it. All of our elites preach free trade. ...The heartland has been devastated."
Thiel argued that voters should take Trump seriously, rather than taking "literally" everything he says.
"What Trump represents isn't crazy and it's not going away," Thiel said.
On LGBT rights, Thiel took aim at gay glossy The Advocate
, which ran an op-ed critical of Thiel's positions.
"This intolerance has taken on some bizarre forms," he said. "The Advocate ...even published an article claiming that as of now I'm ...'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."
"Just think about the way Bush 43 was speaking negatively about gay marriage at every single campaign event in the 2004 election," Thiel later added. "It's something where Trump has – everything he indicated is that he would be quite expansive on gay rights."
Trump, it should be noted, is opposed to marriage equality, has said he would sign a bill that would undermine the Supreme Court's 2015 finding that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, supports North Carolina's first-in-the-nation law that prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice, and chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, as his running mat