Last week has been a bit of a contentious one between the tech industry and the Trump administration. Tim Cook and several other CEOs tried to dissuade Donald Trump from leaving the Paris Agreement, but were not successful.
Despite the difference, several CEOs will be heading to the White House soon for the inaugural American Technology Council meeting, and some surprising names will be attending.
American Technology Council
According to a report from Bloomberg, Tim Cook is going to be one of the 11 CEOs that will be attending the White House meeting on June 19. Other CEOs that will be attending include Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Oracle's Safra Catz. Several other companies were invited, including Facebook, but haven't responded to the invite and, given Trump's recent decisions, may not attend.
The meeting will be led by Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, and Council Director Chris Liddell, former CFO of GM and Microsoft. Trump set up the council in May with an executive order in an effort to modernize the government's digital services and information technology. It's also believed that cloud computing will be a point of focus when the council meets for the first time.
Cook vs. Trump
This is surprising, especially from Tim Cook, given the contentious relationship the tech industry has had with the Trump administration. Leaving the Paris Agreement was just the latest rift between the two entities. It first came to a head earlier this year when Trump issued his travel ban on inbound flights from select countries that are predominantly Muslim. In response, Google and several other companies signed an effort to block the ban.
Cook was especially vocal about the Paris Agreement. As mentioned above, Cook was among the several CEOs that reached out to Trump trying to change his mind and stay in the Paris Agreement. Cook was said to have called the White House and spoke with Trump on the matter but obviously wasn't successful. Cook also found himself on the other side when Trump signed orders dismantling environmental protections put in place by Barack Obama.
Cook also took shots at the President during his commencement speech at MIT. Cook brought up Trump's Twitter habits, joking about MIT students hacking in and putting up posts at three in the morning. While made in jest, Cook's tendency to take a position opposite Trump could cause a strain on the working relationship with Trump's administration.