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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defends Peter Thiel's support of Donald Trump

Mark Zuckerberg comes to Peter Thiel’s defense in leaked Facebook memo.

REUTERS/Albert Gea

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is coming to Peter Thiel’s defense after the billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder came under fire for his $1.25 million pledge to Donald Trump’s campaign this week -- after several women accused the GOP nominee of sexual assault.

After news of the large donation broke, several questioned whether the social media giant should reevaluate Thiel’s status as a board member.

On Tuesday, Zuckerberg addressed the controversy in an internal memo to Facebook employees. A leaked screenshot of Zuckerberg’s Facebook post was shared by Hacker News.

Facebook confirmed the authenticity of the post to CBS News, in which Zuckerberg addressed Thiel’s outspoken support of the Republican nominee for president, and celebrated the company’s “diversity.”

“We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half of the country because they back a political candidate,” Zuckerberg wrote. “There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault.”

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Screenshot

The CEO continued to provide reasons why a someone, such as Thiel, would support Trump.

“It may be because they believe strongly in smaller government, a different tax policy, health care system, religious issues, gun rights or any other issue where he disagrees with Hillary.”

When asked if Facebook had further comments on the subject, a spokesman told CBS News that “the post speaks for itself.”