The CEOs of giant tech companies don’t usually work together for the same cause. It often takes something that all parties have an interest in, such as Apple’s iPhone unlock case, for these rivals to join forces. Now, according to the Huffington Post, a new common goal has been found, as several top tech bosses, billionaires, and senior members of the Republican party came together this weekend to discuss stopping Donald Trump.
It’s claimed that the list of those who attended the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum – held at a private island resort off the coast of Georgia – contained some of the top names in tech: Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, and Napster creator Sean Parker.
Others in attendance included Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner, Tim Scott, Rob Portman, and Ben Sasse.
Traditionally closed off to the press, political commentator Bill Kristol managed to file a report from this year’s event, describing it as being haunted by the spectre of Donald Trump. "There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he's done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated," Kristol wrote.
The Post claims that, according to sources familiar with the meeting, much of the conversation regarding Trump revolved around "how this happened, rather than how are we going to stop him.”
Trump has been one of the few public figures to support the FBI in its case against Apple over the San Bernardino iPhone. This subject, and the one of encryption in general, allegedly started a raging debate between Arkansas senator Tom Cotton and Tim Cook.
Cotton was reportedly “pretty harsh on Cook,” over the CEOs refusal to cooperate with the FBI. "Everyone was a little uncomfortable about how hostile Cotton was," a source told the website.
Trump previously called for a boycott of Apple products (via a tweet from an iPhone) in response to the San Bernardino device unlocking case. He also added that he would “get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of other countries.”
In December, the presidential candidate said that as the internet was being used to radicalize people, he would “see Bill Gates” about “closing it up.”