Breaking News Emails
President-elect Donald Trump pledged his aid in helping top technology executives continue to innovate and solicited advice from the tech titans during a meeting in Trump Tower on Wednesday.
“There's nobody like the people in this room and anything we can do to help this go along, we'll be there for you and you'll call my people, you'll call me, it doesn't make any difference, we have no formal chain of command around here,” Trump said during brief remarks open to the press at the beginning of the sitdown.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the chairs of Google parent company Alphabet Inc. Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, and Tesla’s Elon Musk were among the attendees.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, Trump children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr., and Wilbur Ross, Trump’s selection to head the Commerce Department, also attended the meeting.
Executives exited the meeting with mostly smiles but uninterested in speaking to media gathered in the Trump Tower lobby.
Many of the top Silicon Valley executives seated around the table supported Democrat Hillary Clinton during the contentious presidential race, a fact Trump hinted at at the outset of the meeting.
“They’re all talking about the bounce so everybody in this room has to like me at least a little bit,” Trump said, referring to the stock market. “And we’re going to have that bounce continue and perhaps even more importantly we want you to keep going with the incredible innovation.”
During the campaign, Trump clashed with a number of the companies represented Wednesday. His most notable attacks were directed at Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post. The Post was one of a number of media targets, including NBC News, Trump called out for what he perceived as unfair coverage of his campaign.
Bezos told CNBC in a statement that the meeting was "very productive."
“I found today’s meeting with the President-elect, his transition team, and tech leaders to be very productive. I shared the view that the administration should make innovation one of its key pillars, which would create a huge number of jobs across the whole country, in all sectors, not just tech—agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing—everywhere,” Bezos said.
Notably absent the meeting was a representative from Twitter, whose platform Trump utilized before, during and after the campaign.
“The conference table was only so big,” RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said on MSNBC after the meeting. “There was a lot of companies if you go down the list of the top tech companies, I guarantee you, you’ll find additional ones there. This was not an intentional slight.”
“There are only so many people that can actually sit around a conference table. It was packed,” he added.
It’s the latest in what has already been an eventful week of meetings at Trump Tower. Rapper Kanye West, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and NFL greats Ray Lewis and Jim Brown were among the notable non-politicians to meet with Trump in recent days.