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Dem Megadonor: I Don’t Care About the Uyghurs

'Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line,' says Biden-tied Chamath Palihapitiya

• January 17, 2022 1:57 pm

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Billionaire liberal megadonor Chamath Palihapitiya said he does not care about China's genocide of its Uyghur ethnic minority and argued that the "narrative" around the issue "may not be true."

Palihapitiya's remarks came during a Saturday episode of his podcast All-In. The liberal billionaire, who has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups aligned with President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), used the podcast to echo Chinese Communist Party propaganda. He said that China may not be committing genocide, that he's "not sure" if the nation is a "brutal dictatorship," and that the United States is not in a position to lecture China on human rights issues.

"Nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs. You bring it up because you really care, and I think that's nice that you care, the rest of us don't care," Palihapitiya said. "I'm telling you a very hard, ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."

Palihapitiya, who is a part-owner of the National Basketball Association's Golden State Warriors, has deep ties to the Biden administration. Both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Samantha Power served as advisers to Palihapitiya's venture capital firm, Social Capital, before they joined the Biden administration. Palihapitiya in 2020 gave $250,000 to the Biden Victory Fund.

A White House spokeswoman told the Washington Free Beacon the Biden administration rejects Palihapitiya's statement. "The Biden Administration rejects this statement and will continue to hold the PRC accountable," the spokeswoman said, pointing to Biden's support for the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and other measures to "ensure all global supply chains are free from the use of forced labor."

The Warriors also worked to distance themselves from Palihapitiya, referring to him as a "limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the Warriors."

"Mr. Palihapitiya does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don't reflect those of our organization," the team said in a statement.

In his Saturday episode, Palihapitiya also expressed doubt that China is actually engaging in genocide against the Uyghurs.

"I'm not even sure that China is a dictatorship the way that you want to call it that," Palihapitiya said after a cohost called the communist nation a "brutal dictatorship."

"This issue may be small data points being extrapolated in a way to create a narrative that may not be true," he continued.

In addition to his six-figure Biden campaign contribution, Palihapitiya during the 2020 election cycle gave $750,000 to Schumer's Senate Majority PAC. The liberal billionaire has also contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Florida Republican senator Rick Scott admonished Palihapitiya's remarks in a Monday tweet.

"We've always known that the @NBA & many of its owners are happy to put profits over people. Now @chamath is saying it plain as day: he doesn't care that Communist China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs. He doesn't care that millions are sent to forced labor camps," Scott said. "Communist China is imprisoning innocent people simply due to their Muslim faith & silence is appeasement."

Palihapitiya's full comments, which were first shared by American Foreign Policy Council fellow Michael Sobolik, can be viewed here.

Avid Warriors fan and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) did not respond to a request for comment.

Update 3:00 p.m.: This piece was updated with comment from the White House.