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LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman won’t give to Nikki Haley without ‘path to victory’


Politics

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will need to demonstrate that there is a “new potential path to victory” over Donald Trump before she gets any more donations from billionaire Reid Hoffman, an adviser for the Democratic megadonor told The Post Thursday. 

“Prior to the primaries, we made an investment in Governor Haley because we saw that her performance in New Hampshire might give her a path to defeating Donald Trump,” Hoffman’s political philanthropy adviser Dmitri Mehlhorn explained.

Mehlhorn added that prior to Haley’s 11-point loss in the Granite State contest, he believed the 52-year-old needed to win New Hampshire in order to become the GOP nominee.

“It is still possible that Governor Haley will be able to persuade voters that Trump is no longer stable and cannot carry their banner into the fall campaign,” he said. “Before recommending another investment at this later stage in the process, however, I would need to see a new potential path to victory given that she did not win New Hampshire.”

In December, Hoffman contributed $250,000 to SFA Fund Inc., a pro-Haley super PAC that has spent more than $42 million supporting the US ambassador to the United Nations’ White House bid.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will need to demonstrate a “new potential path to victory” over Donald Trump before she gets any more donations from billionaire Reid Hoffman, sources say. Richard Ellis/UPI/Shutterstock

Hoffman, who is typically aligned with Democratic causes and candidates, also dumped nearly $760,000 last year into the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by the president’s re-election campaign, federal records show.

“If it becomes clear that the GOP has decided to nominate Trump, we have no choice but to turn our attention to defeating Trump in the general election,” Mehlhorn said, explaining that he and Hoffman are “venture investors and we make investment decisions with that framework.” 

Hoffman has been a fierce critic of the 45th president and has said that he has prioritized “supporting America against the threat of Trump” over the years.

Hoffman dumped nearly $760,000 last year into the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by the president’s re-election campaign, federal records show.
Getty Images for WIRED
Hoffman contributed $250,000 to SFA Fund Inc., a pro-Haley super PAC that has spent more than $42 million supporting the US ambassador to the United Nations’ White House bid. ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A non-profit primarily backed by Hoffman, American Future Republic, also funded E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit alleging the former president raped her.

Hoffman defended his funding of Carroll’s suit on LinkedIn after increased media attention, saying he was committed to “protecting the rule of law from the threat posed by Donald Trump’s scorched-earth legal methods.”

Trump, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and numerous other GOP officials have called for Haley to end her presidential campaign in light of her performance in New Hampshire and her dismal polling in her home state of South Carolina, arguing that the party needs to unite around the 77-year-old former president. 

“Prior to the primaries, we made an investment in Governor Haley because we saw that her performance in New Hampshire might give her a path to defeating Donald Trump,” Hoffman’s political philanthropy adviser Dmitri Mehlhorn (not seen) explained. Getty Images for WIRED25

Trump is leading Haley in the Palmetto State by more than 30 points, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls. 

The state is holding its primary on Feb. 24, after Nevada’s Feb. 8 GOP caucus, where Haley’s name isn’t on the ballot and Trump stands to win all 26 delegates at stake. 

Additional reporting by Diana Glebova.

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