Trump team wants to meet with Silicon Valley execs next week
The Trump transition team has invited a number of tech industry leaders to New York next week for a roundtable discussion. USA Today reports that Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and advisor Peter Thiel are engineering the December 14th summit.
This will be an interesting meeting given Trump’s thorny relationship with an industry that snubbed him at every turn during the election. Trump’s relationship with Apple is especially contentious ever since he called for a boycott of the company when it refused to build a backdoor into the iOS security system for the FBI. Trump’s ambivalence to net neutrality and vigorous opposition to immigration, which the industry relies on to recruit top flight talent from around the world, aren’t helping his case either.
Peter Thiel, Trump’s advisor and hype man, is only slightly better off. He sits on Facebook’s board of directors and holds considerable sway within the company. However his backing of the candidate that will be the next president — not to mention a personal vendetta against Gawker Media which shuttered the news outlet earlier this year — has not won him many fans in the progressive bastion of Silicon Valley.
“Most of Silicon Valley is moving from the ‘surprised and in denial’ phase to accepting the change that’s coming,” Semil Shah, of venture capital firm, Haystack Fund, told USA Today. “Some of that change, such as immigration, creates anxiety and uncertainty. Some of that change, such as potential for economic stimulus at a national level, gives some folks business confidence.”
The invited tech executives will likely be looking to extend olive branches and build bridges with the incoming administration. However, if this meeting goes anything like Trump’s previous overtures to television and print media, it will not end well. Remember, Trump doesn’t build bridges, he builds walls. Or at least claims to.
Source: USA Today