President-elect Donald Trump hosted some of the technology industry’s top leaders at Trump Tower in New York today, and told them to contact him directly if he could help them with their problems. “Anything we can do to help this go along, and we’re going to be there for you,” Trump said. “You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here.”
Guests at the table, included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Vice President-elect Mike Pence and three of Trump’s children. Television cameras were allowed to capture the start of the meeting, but were ushered out after a few minutes.
“We’re going to make fair trade deals.”
There was no formal agenda for the meeting, but the discussion was expected to focus on jobs, according to The New York Times. Other attendees included Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, IBM CEO Ginni Rometti, Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. Seated to Trump’s left was his key donor and adviser Peter Thiel, who sits on Facebook’s board of directors. Thiel also co-founded data analytics firm Palantir, whose CEO, Alex Karp, sat in on the meeting.
In brief, rambling remarks, Trump said his administration would enable the free flow of goods between countries. “We’re going to make fair trade deals,” he said. “We’re going to make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders. There’s a lot of restrictions, a lot of problems that I think you see. And if you have any ideas on that, that would be great.”