Silicon Valley hosted a secretive fundraiser for President Trump in Palo Alto on Tuesday, with tickets costing as much as $100,000 per couple.
The Wall Street Journal reported that attendees weren't told in advance where the event would be or who would be hosting, in part over worries that protesters might turn up en masse.
Instead, attendees were asked to meet at a remote location before being shuttled to the host's house. Campaign aides and advisers declined to disclose the location and its host, because of privacy and security concerns.
It turned out that Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems, was hosting the fundraiser at his Palo Alto home. Crowds of protesters caught wind of the event and duly gathered nearby along with, apparently, a giant balloon depicting Trump as a baby.
Shame on #libertarian@scottmcnealy –fundraising with @realdonaldtrump in Portola Valley. #resist #NoWall #ClimateStrike #RacistInChief pic.twitter.com/yqCF43BQgvTweet Embed:
Protesting @realDonaldTrump in Portola Valley, California. pic.twitter.com/OiAKpu06PGTweet Embed:
I was a proud protester at his fundraising luncheon in Portola valley this morning! pic.twitter.com/z39mn6dJ01
The secrecy is indicative of Trump's status in Silicon Valley. The president has made few inroads in the tech industry in the past, and the wider industry has a reputation for being left-leaning.
In the 2016 election, nearly 99% of the political donations from Silicon Valley went to Hilary Clinton while just 1% went to Trump, for example.
This year, several high-profile figures have already made donations to Democrat presidential hopefuls.
According to ABC, prospective Democratic Party candidate Pete Buttigieg has racked up donations from Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, and Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann, among others. Kamala Harris has received cash from LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff, and Impossible Foods president Dennis Woodside.
Silicon Valley's left-leaning tendencies might explain why Republican fundraisers aren't always welcomed in the area.
Three years ago, the former chief executive of Intel Corp, Brian Krzanich, was forced to cancel an event for Trump at his Atherton, California home hours after the plan went public because it caused an uproar amongst employees, according to The Journal.
Developer Stephen Ross faced an even bigger backlash this summer after he hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Hamptons mansion and hundreds of people took to social media to boycott the companies that he invests in.