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Facebook co-founder jumps into politics for first time — with $20 million to help Hillary Clinton and Democrats

Dustin Moskovitz in 2012. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and his wife, Cari Tuna, announced Thursday night that they were making their first foray into political giving with a massive investment: $20 million to back presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates.

In a post on Medium, the couple wrote that they felt compelled to act because they fear the United States would become a more isolated and fearful place with Donald Trump and the Republicans in control.

"The Republican Party, and Donald Trump in particular, is running on a zero-sum vision, stressing a false contest between their constituency and the rest of the world," they wrote. "We believe their positions, especially on immigration, which purport to improve the lives of Americans, would in practice hurt citizens and noncitizens alike. In contrast, the Democratic Party, and Hillary Clinton in particular, is running on a vision of optimism, pragmatism, inclusiveness and mutual benefit."

"As a nation, we need to figure out how to bring everyone with us, and we believe the Democratic platform currently is more aligned with ensuring that happens," they added. "In comparison, Donald Trump’s promises to this group are quite possibly a deliberate con, an attempt to rally energy and support without the ability or intention to deliver. His proposals are so implausible that the nation is forced to worry that his interest in the presidency might not even extend beyond winning a contest and promoting his personal brand."

Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz: Young Silicon Valley billionaires pioneer new approach to philanthropy

The young billionaires plan to spread their resources to a variety of campaign committees and super PACs, including Clinton's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the congressional party committees, Political Action and Color of Change PAC. Their biggest donations are going to the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and For Our Future PAC, a joint effort backed by labor unions and billionaire Tom Steyer. Each is getting $5 million.

"This decision was not easy, particularly because we have reservations about anyone using large amounts of money to influence elections," they wrote. "That said, we believe in trying to do as much good as we can, which in this case means using the tools available to us (as they are also available to the opposition). At the same time, we are being open about the amount of funding we’re providing, even though transparency is not required in some cases."

After the essay posted Thursday night, Moskovitz tweeted, "tonight's courage partially sponsored by" Lin-Manuel Miranda, the actor and composer of the musical "Hamilton," who is a strong Clinton backer.

"Thanks for the help," Moskovitz added.

One of Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommates, Moskovitz was crowned the world's youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in 2011, when he was 27. He went on to co-found the company Asana and is now worth an estimated $10.5 billion.

Tuna and Moskovitz were in their mid-20s in 2010 when they became the youngest couple ever to sign on to the Giving Pledge, the campaign started by Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett to encourage the world’s billionaires to commit to giving away most of their wealth, as The Washington Post wrote in 2014. At the time, they said they were focused on four major areas of investment: U.S. policy, global catastrophic risks, international aid and science, and said they planned to eventually give away hundreds of millions of dollars a year.