Despite the public spat between Amazon boss (and Washington Post owner) Jeff Bezos and the president-elect, the tech heavyweight has agreed to attend Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this week. The roundtable is a who’s who of anti-Trumpers including Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Eric Schmidt but there is one notable absence: Tesla’s Elon Musk is unable to attend because he is too busy with work.
Yesterday, Recode broke the news of the names of the attendees at a meeting of the top tech leaders with Donald Trump that is set to take place Wednesday in New York. Invited by the President-elect’s tech whisperer Peter Thiel, sources said they would include Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO Larry Page, along with other big names from Intel, Oracle, Cisco, IBM and more.
And now, as Yahoo reports, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday in New York, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Previous reports indicate the meeting on Wednesday will take place at Trump Tower in Manhattan, and the press are currently not invited to attend.
CBS News reported Catz, who previously met with Trump in November, plans to discuss solutions for reforming the tax code, reducing regulation, and negotiating better trade deals.
Not everyone, however, may be as eager to break bread with the president-elect, given that many tech leaders have publicly clashed with Trump. Cook and Page, for example, participated in a discussion back in May at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum around how to stop Trump’s nomination.
Trump has publicly criticized Apple for manufacturing its phones in China and refusing to provide security backdoors to law enforcement. Meanwhile, Trump and Bezos locked horns when the president-elect temporarily blacklisted The Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013, from campaign events, and described Bezos’ ownership of the Post as a tax dodge.
The president-elect has also come down hard on issues considered vital to the tech industry’s interests, including immigration and trade. Indeed, a Trump administration would possibly restrict the number of workers who enter the country with an H-1B visa — a type of visa employed by some tech workers and the same kind of visa Trump’s wife Melania received in 1996 to legally work in the U.S.
However, there is one notably ironic absence. The leader of the company that is perhaps more dependent on government handouts than any other will not be there…
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has been invited and is a longtime friend of Thiel from their PayPal days has, according to sources, not yet accepted.
He still has not done so, with sources in Musk’s office say that while he was glad to receive the invitation, critical work obligations might prevent him from attending. Sources left the door open that Musk would change his plans in the next few days, but that he was less likely to attend at this point.
Whether Trump himself will attend is unclear but we would love to be a fly on that wall as the new leader of the free-world faces up to a room full of those most adamantly opposed to him throughout the campaign.