Tech Titan Reid Hoffman Praises Biden After Private Artificial Intelligence Talk

'Some people reach their greatest achievements in their 80s or even their 90s,' the A.I. tycoon said

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and President Joe Biden (Getty Images).
December 1, 2023

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman downplayed concerns about President Joe Biden’s age in an email encouraging his "friends and allies" to donate to Biden’s campaign. Days earlier, Biden hosted Hoffman for a closed-door meeting on artificial intelligence, a field in which Hoffman has invested billions.

Hoffman, a former associate of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, met with Biden during the president’s October trip to San Francisco, where he attended Silicon Valley fundraisers and met Chinese president Xi Jinping. Following the meeting, Hoffman wrote to his network of political allies, "In business and politics, some people reach their greatest achievements in their 80s or even their 90s. Joe Biden has those qualities." Hoffman urged his allies to contribute to Biden and other Democratic causes, writing that "each of you can make a difference by giving financial support directly or hosting fundraisers," according to Puck News.

The meeting was seemingly beneficial to both parties. Hoffman, who has contributed $760,000 to Biden’s reelection bid this year, recently launched Inflection AI, a rival to industry leader OpenAI. Hoffman has become an ambassador of sorts for A.I. technology, and has sought a front-row seat in Washington as policymakers decide both how to regulate A.I. and invest in the technology. Hoffman’s venture capital firm, Greylock Partners, has also invested in 37 A.I. companies, according to the New York Times.

Support from Hoffman’s network could be a boon for Biden, who trails Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in most polls. Hoffman is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors, and has contributed millions of dollars to Democratic political committees, including $6.5 million this year to the anti-Trump Republican Accountability PAC.

He’s also funded controversial groups accused of deceptive tactics to help Democrats win elections. He apologized in 2018 after it was revealed that he financed a technology company that used fake online accounts to sway conservatives from voting in the 2017 Alabama Senate special election.

Hoffman’s access to Biden bears similarities to another controversial tech titan. Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced cryptocurrency kingpin, visited the White House four times last year to lobby on behalf of his firm, FTX, and the crypto industry. Bankman-Fried contributed $5 million to a political committee that supported Biden in 2020, and tens of millions of dollars more to Democratic groups. Prosecutors said Bankman-Fried used campaign contributions to gain access to policymakers to raise his personal profile and to shape regulation of the crypto industry in his company’s favor.

Hoffman has already enjoyed White House access for his A.I. ventures. In July, Hoffman’s cofounder at Inflection AI attended a White House event with a handful of A.I. executives to unveil a White House initiative to promote the development of artificial intelligence while "manag[ing] the risks" posed by the technology, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The White House and Hoffman’s firm did not respond to requests for comment.