Trump to Tech Titans: 'No Formal Chain of Command Around Here'

Image: Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in West Allis, Wis. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Evan Vucci / AP

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By Alyssa Newcomb

With cameras briefly in the room, the start of President-elect Donald Trump's meeting with tech leaders looked almost like something out of a reality show.

"I won't tell you the hundreds of calls we've had asking to come here to this meeting," Trump told the assembled crew.

Many of the people sitting at the table, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Apple CEO Tim Cook have all been in Trump's crosshairs at some point on Twitter.

Related: CEOs of Tesla, Uber, and Pepsi Join Trump's Business Council

The closed door meeting was off the record, but as cameras rolled Trump told the group he is "here to help you folks do well."

"You'll call my people, you'll call me, it doesn't matter. We have no formal chain of command around here," Trump said. “Keep going with the incredible innovation. There’s nobody like you in the world.”

Sitting to Trump's left was Peter Thiel, the president-elect's only high-profile supporter from Silicon Valley. Trump heaped praise on the PayPal billionaire in front of a group that was largely against Trump during the election.

“He’s ahead of the curve and I want to thank him," Trump said.

Thiel had helped orchestrate Wednesday's meeting, along with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

"Everybody in this room has to like me at least a little bit," Trump said with a smile, referring to the market rally that has led to soaring gains for some companies. "We're going to try to have that bounce continue."

Cameras showed that three of Trump's adult children were also at the meeting, along with Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for Secretary of Commerce; and Gary Cohn, the nominee for director of the National Economic Council.