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Friday, October 23, 2020

Tech exec Palmer Luckey to host California fundraiser for President Trump this weekend

Palmer Luckey, Founder @ Oculus VR Andutil Industries, during day two of Collision 2019 at Enercare Center in Toronto, Canada.

Stephen McCarthy | Sportsfile | Getty Images

Former Facebook and Oculus executive Palmer Luckey will host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at Luckey’s Southern California home this weekend, according to an invitation viewed by CNBC.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s “Victory” campaign will hold the event in Orange County at “The home of Nicole and Palmer Luckey” on October 18th, the invitation states. Tickets range from $2,800 per person up to $100,000 per person. It also includes Ric Grenell, the former acting director of the United States National Intelligence agency.

The fundraiser comes just weeks before the Nov. 3 U.S. election, with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Trump trying to raise money in the last stretch of their campaigns.

Neither Trump’s campaign nor spokesperson for Luckey responded to requests for comment.

Luckey is best known for founding virtual reality company Oculus, which Facebook bought for $2 billion in 2014. He grew controversial after his political contributions and financial support of far-right groups were reported by The Daily Beast in September 2016. He reportedly made a $10,000 contribution to a pro-Trump organization called Nimble America during the 2016 presidential election, which funded advertisements calling for the arrest of candidate Hillary Clinton.

Luckey later claimed he was fired from the social networking giant in 2017 for “no reason at all” but said he suspected it had to do with backing a pro-Trump group. His support of Trump made Luckey one of the few right-leaning executives in the heavily-Democratic leaning tech industry.

After leaving Oculus, Luckey started his current company Anduril with a mission to build cutting-edge defense technology for the U.S. government. Based in Irvine, California, Luckey’s startup made Anvil, a quadcopter that can fly 100 miles an hour and was purchased by the U.S. military to be tested by special forces soldiers. The company secured a $1 billion valuation in September 2019, CNBC reported.

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