President-elect Donald Trump hosted a summit on Wednesday in New York City’s Trump Tower in which he assured many members of the tech industry elite he wanted innovation to continue.
“I’m here to help you folks do well, and you’re doing well right now and I’m very honored by ‘the bounce’ — they’re all talking about ‘the bounce’ and I know everybody in this room has to like me a little bit, but we’re going to try and have that bounce continue,” Trump said at the summit, the first part of which was broadcast on certain news outlets including CNBC. “Perhaps even more importantly we want you to keep going with the incredible innovation. There’s nobody like you in the world. There’s nobody like the people in this room.”
The meeting, which lasted an hour, included Amazon (AMZN) CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, Tesla (TESLA) CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella, Intel (INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich, Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle (ORCL) co-CEO Safra Catz, Cisco (CSCO) CEO Chuck Robbins, Palantir CEO Alex Karp, as well as Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, CEO and chairman of Google (GOOG) parent Alphabet, respectively.
Also, in attendance: Vice President-elect Mike Pence, billionaire tech investor and transition team member Peter Thiel, chief advisor Steve Bannon, chief-of-staff Reince Priebus and three of Trump’s children: Ivanka, Eric, and Donald, Jr.
Organized by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Priebus and Thiel, the meeting was intended as an introductory session, Reuters reported.
Following an awkward handshake with Thiel, Trump addressed the group with comments that seemed to suggest he would be highly accessible.
“You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference, we have no formal chain of command around here,” Trump explained.
Trump also introduced billionaire Wilbur Ross, his pick for commerce secretary, and Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn, his choice for assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council.
“They’re going to do fair trade deals,” Trump explained. “They’re going to make it easier for you to trade across borders, because there are a lot of restrictions, a lot of problems. If you have any ideas on that, that would be great.”
Priebus tweeted Wednesday’s discussion included topics such as job creation and economic growth.
Those absent from Wednesday’s tech meeting included Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who reportedly did not attend because of travel. Kalanick will meet with the president frequently and offer his expertise alongside Musk as members of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
“I look forward to engaging with our incoming president and this group on issues that affect our riders, drivers and the 450+ cities where we operate,” Kalanick told Yahoo Finance in a statement.
Also notably absent were Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, who was also reportedly traveling, and Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey. According to Politico, which cited an anonymous source, Twitter was purposefully left out from Trump’s tech summit because the tech company refused to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #CrookedHillary, during the presidential campaign.
Wednesday’s meeting was particularly noteworthy given that many tech leaders have publicly clashed with Trump, who reportedly does not use a computer. 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 also publicly criticized Apple (AAPL) 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.
Catz, who previously met with Trump in November, went into Trump’s summit prepared to discuss several topics.
“I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation, and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever,” Catz told Yahoo Finance in a statement.