Peter Thiel Obtained New Zealand Citizenship

Peter Thiel Obtained New Zealand Citizenship

Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor, Facebook board member and self-described contrarian, has become Silicon Valley's most notorious and enthusiastic backer of President Donald Trump and his plan to "make America great again." But if Trump's plan goes off the rails, Thiel appears to have something of an exit strategy. Call it Plan B.

Thiel, who was born in Germany and became a naturalized American as a child, obtained New Zealand citizenship in March 2011, according to the country's Department of Internal Affairs. The New Zealand Herald first reported on the prominent venture capitalist's citizenship there, which it discovered while looking into Thiel's recent purchase of a $10 million estate on the country's Lake Wanaka.

A spokesperson for Thiel declined to comment. The Herald reported that Nathan Guy, internal affairs minister, granted Thiel his citizenship on the advice of other government officials.

It is ironic that Thiel held New Zealand citizenship at the same time he served on the transition team for President Donald Trump, who built his successful campaign around a nationalist platform that included limiting the number of immigrants and building a wall along the length of the US-Mexico border. "From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first," Trump proclaimed during his inauguration speech earlier this month.

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