- Right-wing donor and former Facebook exec Palmer Luckey made two $US500 donations to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign, the Daily Beast reported.
- The campaign refunded the money as soon as it learned of the source, according to a spokesperson.
- Luckey is best known as the founder of virtual reality company Oculus, which sold to Facebook in a $US3 billion deal in 2014.
- He left Facebook in 2016, amid a controversy over his financial support for an anti-Hillary Clinton meme group and right-wing groups.
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Former Facebook virtual reality exec Palmer Luckey has donated $US1000 to the Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) reelection campaign, Taylor Hatmaker of The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
According to FEC filings, Luckey donated $US500 to the campaign in August, and he donated another $US500 earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported. The Ocasio-Cortez campaign says that it only became aware of the donations after the Daily Beast reached out for comment, and that it’s refunded the total amount.
“We first became aware of the donation when asked about it by The Daily Beast-as soon as we became aware of it we refunded the money,” campaign spokesperson Corbin Trent told The Daily Beast. “I assume the majority of the people who donate to the campaign do so because they support her ideology and her policies and because she supports working class people. I have no idea in this case.”
Indeed, Luckey’s apparent support for the AOC campaign is something of a mystery, especially given the representative’s left-leaning stance on social and economic issues.
Luckey, who founded virtual reality firm Oculus and sold it to Facebook in a deal valued at $US3 billion in 2014. He left Facebook in 2016 amid a controversy over his financial support for an anti-Hillary Clinton meme group called Nimble America. Since then, FEC filings show that Luckey made large donations to conservative causes – notably, $US150,000 to the PAC Trump Victory and $US106,500 to the Republican National Committee, both in April 2019.
Luckey has also donated recently to other members of the House, although they were allRepublicans. His August 10 donation to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is apparently his most recent token of financial support for a politician, per FEC data.
Since leaving Facebook, Luckey has since started a company, Anduril, which has courted further controversy with technology for a “virtual border wall.”
A representative for Luckey declined to comment. The Ocasio-Cortez campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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