Trump to talk policy with tech CEOs Bezos, Nadella, Cook and others in Washington D.C.

Trump and tech leaders
Tech leaders are shown seated around the table with Donald Trump and Mike Pence at a meeting in December. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, lower left, is kitty corner from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. (Sean Spicer Photo / Twitter)

An all-star contingent of tech CEOs will meet with President Donald Trump, as well as other top federal officials Monday, to talk about using technology to modernize the U.S. government and other more contentious issues such as immigration.


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Those in attendance, according to Recode, include: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent, Alphabet; as well as top executives from Oracle, Adobe, IBM, Palantir, SAP, Intel, Qualcomm and VMWare.

Notably absent from this list is Facebook. Recode reports that Facebook was invited to the event, but that it will not be sending a representative. CNN reports that Elon Musk, who resigned from Trump’s advisory council following the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Change Accords, will also not be in attendance.

The meeting is part of the American Technology Council, a group formed by executive order in May to help government agencies modernize their digital services. It is run by former Microsoft and General Motors CFO Chris Liddell, who will is involved in Monday’s meeting with the tech CEOs. The organization is overseen by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a key advisor in the administration.

Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Among the topics reportedly on the docket are cybersecurity, immigration and digitizing how people apply for and receive government services. Recode notes that the White House will host another tech meeting this week focused on emerging trends in technology, such as drones, Internet of Things and 5G wireless.

These meetings come as the administration has yet to fill some crucial technologies roles, including the nation’s chief technology officer.

This is not the first time top tech luminaries have met with Trump. In December, Bezos, Nadella, Cook and many others made the trek to Trump Tower in New York to meet with the then president-elect. 

Trump has clashed with tech companies and executives on several occasions, dating back to his time as a candidate. During the campaign, many tech industry leaders lined up against Trump on policy issues, with some saying he would be “a disaster for innovation” in an open letter.

Following his election, some leaders took a more conciliatory tone. Bezos tweeted his congratulations to Trump and wished him great success. Microsoft, also took a diplomatic tone in its reaction to the election. Apple’s Cook urged employees to move forward following the election.

But as Trump’s policies came together, he met resistance from tech companies. Amazon and Expedia, two Seattle-area tech giants, filed declarations of support for Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against President Trump’s travel ban. Later nearly 100 companies — including Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Uber and others — filed a brief supporting Washington state’s case against President Trump’s restrictions on immigration and travel.

Tech leaders en masse also blasted Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the global climate change accords.