President-elect Trump meets with Silicon Valley CEOs after acrimonious campaign relationship

President-elect Trump sits with Peter Thiel and Apple CEO Tim Cook at a meeting between Trump and Silicon Valley CEOsGetty

US President-elect Donald Trump met on Wednesday (14 December) with some of Silicon Valley's top executives in a round-table at Trump Tower also attended by three of his children.

Executives including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook, all met with Trump after a presidential campaign that saw both sides openly oppose each other.

The meeting started with Trump saying "there's nobody like the people in this room," according to Reuters. The president-elect then struck an amicable tone with the Silicon Valley leaders, saying "anything we can do to help this go along we're going to do that for you".

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"You call my people, you call me, it doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command," said Trump. Along with the president-elect was the vice president-elect, Mike Pence, and Trump's three eldest children - Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.

One notable exception was Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, with one source telling Politico that this was down to Twitter refusing an emoji deal during the election campaign. The Trump team had wanted an emoji that would replace the hashtag #CrookedHillary but the social media company's CEO reportedly stepped in to stop the deal taking place.

Trump had publicly battled with other tech executives around the table but this did not seem to warrant their expulsion. Trump had previously called for a boycott of Apple products when the company refused to help the FBI open the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

Trump v Silicon Valley

Along with that, Trump has been a critic of net neutrality saying in a tweet that "Obama's attack on the internet is a top-down power grab... will target conservative media."

Trump had also attack Silicon Valley companies as businesses too, saying to Reuters in May that some tech stocks are "so, so weak as a concept and a company and they're selling for so much money."

The meeting was supposedly just an introductory session though Tim Cook of Apple and Elon Musk of Space X and Tesla Motors were to have a private meeting after other executives had left.

Another source of contention between the Trump camp and the tech world has been Trump's proposed registry of Muslims in the United States - over 600 employees of top US tech companies have pledged to not help any efforts to build a database of Muslim citizens.

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What role will Trump's children play?

The meeting also throws up questions about the role Trump's family will have in his government. The president-elect had already been criticised when his daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, attended a meeting with Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump has said that he plans to avoid conflicts of interests between his governing role and business empire by handing control of his companies to his children. Though on Tuesday (13 December), a letter from the US Office of Government Ethics said that given the businesses to his children "would not constitute the establishment of a qualified blind trust, nor would it eliminate conflicts of interest".

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