Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running for president and is an anti-vaccine activist, has found another wealthy supporter in Wall Street executive Omeed Malik. Malik hosted Kennedy at a private dinner at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, attended by an array of political power players, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, ex-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Democratic megadonor Marc Lasry. Many of the attendees were speakers at the SCALE Global Business Summit. While Kennedy did not pitch himself as a candidate, his attendance at the dinner represents another way to beef up his presence in the political conversation despite having publicly pushed numerous conspiracy theories, including debunked takes on vaccines. Kennedy has also gained some traction in polls pitting him against Joe Biden in the Democratic primary race.
Fundraiser and Support
Malik joins other rich donors in their support for Kennedy. Venture capitalist David Sacks and tech leader Chamath Palihapitiya hosted a fundraiser for Kennedy, which raised approximately $500,000 for his campaign. Kennedy was also once a guest on Sacks and Palihapitiya’s podcast. Billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk hosted Kennedy in a recent Twitter Spaces, and Malik joined the discussion. Musk said last year he was leaning toward backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president. He later hosted a glitchy Twitter Spaces for the Florida Republican when he announced his run for president. Malik will also host a campaign fundraiser for Kennedy in the ritzy Hamptons in July. Tickets for the gathering are going for $6,600, the max an individual donor can give directly to a campaign. Malik is launching a new fund through 1789 Capital called EIG, which is a $150 million fund backed by GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer and former Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters who used to work for fellow Republican financier Peter Thiel.
Kennedy’s attendance at the dinner with political power players indicates that he is trying to gain influence in the political conversation despite his controversial views on vaccines. Kennedy’s anti-vaccine stance is at odds with mainstream scientific consensus, and he has been criticized for spreading misinformation about vaccines. Name recognition has likely contributed to Kennedy’s traction in polls. His father, Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated during his own presidential run in 1968, and his uncle, late President John F. Kennedy, was shot dead in 1963.
Malik’s fundraiser for Kennedy in the Hamptons in July is expected to draw a mix of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Malik himself has donated to candidates on both sides of the aisle. He gave to DeSantis when he ran for reelection in 2022, as well as Biden’s 2020 campaign and Donald Trump’s failed second run for the White House. Malik worked as a managing director at Bank of America until 2018 before a reported controversy that led to an eight-figure settlement with the firm that he won. Malik has since created his own lane on Wall Street with two firms: 1789 Capital and Farvahar Partners.
Kennedy’s attendance at the Bellagio dinner with political power players, including Clinton, Cohn, Pompeo, Johnson, Summers, and Lasry, indicates that he is trying to gain influence in the political conversation despite his controversial views on vaccines. Malik’s fundraiser for Kennedy in the Hamptons in July is expected to draw a mix of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Malik himself has donated to candidates on both sides of the aisle and is launching a new fund through 1789 Capital called EIG, which is a $150 million fund backed by GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer and former Republican Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters.