Tech CEOS visit White House to talk modernizing government

Trump at Desk FBN

Tech CEOS visit White House to talk modernizing government

Last month, when his wife Ivanka Trump, who also serves as a top Trump aide, was interviewed by CBS, he declined an invitation to join. Albeit, the meeting was less crowded than what it should have been, with several tech honchos leaving president Trump's councils over disagreements with his policies.

As promised, some of the world's top tech CEOs from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and many others met with President Donald Trump today, and some appeared to enjoy it more than others.

President Donald Trump met on Monday with the heads of 18 U.S. technology companies including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, seeking their help to make the government's computing systems more efficient.

Jared Kushner, Mr Trump's son-in-law and adviser, said the administration wanted to "unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before".

Trump was flanked by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, during a brief period open to reporters.

The White House has enlisted tech CEOs to improve government services, reform outdated information technology systems, cut fraud and government costs and improve services for taxpayers.

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He said the administration was scrapping unneeded cyber compliance rules and should be able to consolidate and eliminate the vast majority of the government's 6,100 data centers and move to a cloud-based storage system.

However, only one of the major tech companies opted not to attend Monday's White House meeting: Facebook was invited, but chose to sit this one out, according to a Recode report.

On the surface, the White House and the tech industry seem aligned in the push to modernize government - not least because companies like Amazon, Google and Palantir increasingly seek new ways to sell their devices and services to federal agencies.

"W$3 e're working very diligently with everybody, including Congress, on immigration so that you can get the people you want in your companies", Trump said, after the meeting. "America's more important than bloody politics from my point of view". Schmidt also criticized the President's travel ban, as "discriminatory and anti-globalization" and his policy on H-1B visas. When asked about Trump's earlier criticisms of the program, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump "is going into this meeting to listen". Discussions also included immigration and cybersecurity issues.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was invited but could not attend because of a conflict, the company said. Some of the original members have left both committees. With numerous companies in the room having pioneered data-driven business practices, the White House is hoping some of that expertise will rub off.

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