Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey declined to host a fundraiser for presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard suing Clinton for defamation over ‘Russian asset’ comments Gabbard knocks Clinton’s jab at Sanders: ‘This isn’t high school’ The data is clear: A woman could win in 2020 MORE (D-Hawaii) late last year, claiming that he’s hesitant to publicly back particular candidates, according to a new report from Recode.
Gabbard, a vocal critic of large tech corporations including Twitter, reportedly asked Dorsey to fundraise for her last December, a few months after Dorsey maxed out donations to the controversial Hawaii Democrat’s presidential bid.
At first, Dorsey said he was interested in co-hosting a fundraiser for her with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, one source told Recode. But Dorsey said he was no longer interested in holding the fundraiser, shortly after Gabbard declined to vote in favor of impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg’s activism: Study economics and then ‘come back’ to us The Hill’s Morning Report – House prosecutes Trump as ‘lawless,’ ‘corrupt’ What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE, the tech news outlet reported.
Dorsey donated $2,800 to Gabbard’s 2020 campaign last June, according to a Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing. He also contributed $1,000 to former tech executive Andrew Yang in March.
After Dorsey received criticism for his donations to obscure candidates – particularly Gabbard, who is known for bucking the party line and advancing controversial opinions – he defended himself on Twitter.
“I’ve made personal contributions because I appreciate Andrew’s focus on the coming displacement of work due to AI and automation, and Tulsi’s strong anti-war stance,” he tweeted. “Along with systematically addressing climate change and economic injustice, these are the key issues of global consequence I want to see considered and discussed more.”
Gabbard has been among those advocating to break up Big Tech, and previously she would target Twitter even though it is significantly smaller than top corporations like Facebook and Google.
She even sued Google last year, alleging the tech behemoth violated her right to “free speech” when it briefly suspended her campaign’s advertising account. Google has pushed back against her allegations, saying “large spending changes” on her account set off Google’s automated systems.
Last July, when a reporter asked Gabbard about Dorsey’s donation, she said she had never met him.
“I had not met or spoken to him,” Gabbard said. “I saw that the contribution was made and reached out and said ‘thank you so much,’ and he expressed his support for my candidacy.”
“Nothing changes my position,” she said.
Twitter and Gabbard’s campaign did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment.