Peter Thiel said Google should be investigated by the U.S. government for aiding China and accused the company of being infiltrated by Chinese state security in an interview with FOX News' Tucker Carlson.
Thiel said he is most scared by Elizabeth Warren in 2020 and finds the other Democratic presidential candidates "unimpressive."
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal. He was one of the very first investors in Facebook. If anyone knows a lot about big (ph) PAC and its power and its potential dangers, it’s Peter Thiel. So it means something when he warns that Google, the world’s most powerful company, has become a threat to American national security. They may even have committed treason, he says.
While speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington yesterday, Thiel warned that Google may have been infiltrated by Chinese intelligence and ought to be subject to immediate investigation by the FBI and the CIA.
I’m happy to have Peter Thiel join us tonight. Peter, thanks a lot for coming on. So --
PETER THIEL, CO-FOUNDER, PAYPAL: -- thanks for having me.
CARLSON: What did you mean when you said that?
THIEL: Well, it was just in the form of a set of questions I asked, where you know, artificial intelligence is something people talk about nonstop in Silicon Valley -- but they almost never talk about its dual use. If it’s real, if this is a real thing, it obviously can also be used by the military, it’ll be weaponized in all sorts of ways, and it’s an important national security question as to who has it.
There’s this very peculiar background where Google is working with the Chinese on Communist government and not with the U.S. military; so the Project Maven decision was a decision not to work with A.I., with the U.S. military -- but they’re working with the Communist Chinese.
And so the question is, you know, from the outside is just -- what in the world is going on there? And I sort of suggested a few different possibilities. But I think, you know, it’s been – they described it as a Manhattan Project for A.I. So if you go around broadcasting that you’re building a Manhattan Project for A.I., I would think this naturally would draw the attention of foreign intelligence agencies.
I think the Chinese are confident enough, the Ministry of State Security is likely to have infiltrated Google, and then I think the Google management has sort of a decision of either letting the software go out the front door, or figuring, it will get stolen anyway and go out the back door.
CARLSON: When you say you believe that Chinese State Security is likely to have infiltrated Google, what does that mean?
THIEL: Well, if you say you’re building a Manhattan Project for A.I., don’t you think that would attract the interest of foreign intelligence agencies?
CARLSON: Yeah. Yeah --
THIEL: It’s just hidden in plain sight. And then they are -- well, I think there are sort of all these ways that Chinese nationals are engaged in espionage in the U.S. I’m not even -- it’s understandable that China is doing that. They see themselves in a very serious competition with the U.S., but we’re not particularly on our guard about it, and if you have sort of a series of super futuristic tech projects that you’ve broadcast to the whole world, it could lead to suspicion. And then the weird fact that’s indisputable, is that Google is working with Communist China, but not with the U.S. military on its breakthrough A.I. technology --
CARLSON: Why is that?
THIEL: Well, that’s the question. I mean I think, I think one explanation is they figure they have to, because it’ll get -- if they don’t give it to them through the front door, it will get stolen through the back door. So the first answer is they have to.
And then I think of course, there’s probably you know, a broad base of Google employees that are ideologically super left wing sort of woke, and think that China is better than the U.S. Or that the U.S. is worse than China. It’s always -- it’s more anti-American than anything.
CARLSON: Always. But this is, by definition, a threat to American national security, as you point out. So if Sundar Pichai was sitting right here, what would you say to him?
THIEL: Well, I would say answer my three questions. How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated Google? Has -- have the Chinese, in particular, infiltrated? And why are you working with Communist China and not the U.S.? What is the reason you’re doing that?
CARLSON: Why do you think that -- the questions you raise -- and this, and this is not in any way to minimize their importance -- are kind of obvious questions; why haven’t (inaudible) ascertain the answers?
THIEL: Well, it’s possible that there are people in the U.S. government looking into it and they haven’t told us. But yeah, I think the FBI and the CIA would be the natural places to look into it. The FBI would look at it from the domestic side; the CIA would look at it from the outside and you know, would try to look at seeing if from the outside, their people, you know, controlling people inside Google or --
CARLSON: So if someone who’s -- this is almost rhetorical -- but as someone who’s built a lot of companies, as you have, do you think it would have been possible to create, to incubate and grow a company like Google in China? Or --
THIEL: I don’t think -- I think the U.S. is still better at innovation and at starting things, but it certainly can be copied and replicated.
THIEL: And something like this is true of all the breakthrough technologies we have. Most of them are still originating and developing in the West, but they don’t give us much of an advantage if they get transferred in a matter of a few years, if not a matter of months.
CARLSON: So I have to ask you -- I assume you’re watching the Democratic primaries unfold; who’s the most impressive candidate in that race, do you think?
THIEL: Well, I’m most scared by Elizabeth Warren. You know, I think she’s the one who’s actually talking about the economy, which is the only thing that I think -- the thing that I think matters by far the most.
THIEL: And then I think almost all the others are equally unimpressive in the sense that it’s all identity politics of one flavor or another, and I wouldn’t want to rank how unimpressive they are, since that would be forcing me to rank the different identities and which one’s more privileged and more special --
-- and that would be a dangerous thing to get into.
CARLSON: It’s hard to know. It’s like --
THIEL: But I think Elizabeth Warren’s the dangerous one.
CARLSON: I think that’s right. Peter Thiel, it’s great to see you. Thank you.