Why top tech CEOs are still meeting with Trump

Carla Harmon
June 27, 2017

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, leads the inaugural meeting of the American Technology Council in the Indian Treaty Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House June 19, 2017 in Washington.

What exactly Jared Kushner's voice sounds like has been somewhat of a mystery for some time now. As an example of how far the government is behind in technology, he discussed the Pentagon's use of floppy disks and costly data centers that could be moved to the cloud.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration was focusing on technology this week.

The effort is part of a broader plan to shrink government, cut federal employees, and eliminate regulations.

Following the meeting, as well, Trump said that the government had to "catch up" with the private sector in everything from better services for citizens to stronger defense from cyber attacks.

Trump's May 1 executive order creating the American Technology Council called for the group of federal officials to overhaul the use of technology across the government.

Its goal is to help modernize the federal government's technology.

Apple's Tim Cook, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz were among 18 tech executives and investors who met the Trump administration.

At the first meeting of the American Technology Council - which the president established by executive order in May - Mr Trump stressed the need to "transform and modernise" the USA public sector's use of technology.

The meeting Monday of the American Technology Council, which Trump commissioned in May and which is being shepherded by Kushner, kicks off a week of administration events themed on technology.

The White House thinks it can learn from credit card companies about significantly reducing fraud.

The federal government spends over $80 billion each year on information technology and employs about 113,000 IT professionals, but suffers from outdated and inefficient systems, according to Bloomberg sources. And Tim Cook said that the U.S. should make coding a requirement in schools. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged Trump's claims that the government needed to modernize and urged the president to ensure that coding becomes a requirement in schools, an issue that Cook has been incredibly vocal about in the past.

After Trump announced he would exit the Paris Agreement, Musk tweeted that he would be resigning from his positions on the president's advisory councils.

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