Donald Trump to Silicon Valley Execs: "I'm here to help"
When the meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and the nation's top tech executives took place, one could easily take it as an episode of The Apprentice. He set his expectations and made everything clear. He also assured everyone that he was there to help.
Trump referred to his guests as an amazing group of people. The meeting was held on Wednesday at the 25th floor conference room of the Trump Tower located in Manhattan. The caucus included Jeff Bezos from Amazon; Elon Musk from Tesla, Timothy D. Cook from Apple; Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook; Larry Page and Eric Schmidt from Alphabet which is Google's parent company; and Satya Nadella from Microsoft, among others.
Mr. Trump continued to say that he's there to help them do well. And anything that the government can do to to be of assistance will be done. The press was then ushered out and the meeting continued. Several executives and a transition official requested for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak openly. But they said among the topics discussed were vocational education, trade with China and immigration, and if the executives could apply data analysis technology in order to get rid of government waste per New York Times.
There were also plans made for quarterly meetings that would involve smaller group of tech executives. This will be organized by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump's adviser and son in law. Immigration and education issues will be the main focus.
The meeting lasted longer than expected, an hour and a half. His three adult children were also there- Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric. Mr. Trump said that they won't believe the hundreds of calls they've had asking to come to the meeting. Everyone laughed.
No one spoke on the way out. But Safra Catz, the co-chief of Oracle who was at the meeting, gave a thumbs up. And Mr. Bezos also issued a statement saying that the meeting was very productive. He said he shares the view about the new administration making innovation about one of its key pillars. This would create jobs across the country, in all sectors aside from tech including agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, among others.
Curiously, Twitter which was Mr. Trump's medium of choice for communication, was not invited. Twitter declined to comment on this. Meanwhile, a group of engineers and tech workers have issued a statement saying they refuse to join in the creation of databases that could be used by the government in order to target people based on religion, race, or national origin. This have drawn over 500 signatories which included Google, Apple, and Microsoft employees.
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