Updated. Executives from some of the world’s biggest tech companies ventured to the White House Monday to take part in the first meeting of the American Technology Council, an advisory group that is supposed to help the Trump administration in its quest to modernize government.
President Trump said during a press conference that he planned “a sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology,” according to reports. In addition to government technology infrastructure, topics of discussion also included immigration, computer science education and access to government data.
Some of the executives taking part in the meeting included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
They met with the heads of some federal agencies looking for input on how to use technology to improve their work. High-level administration officials in attendance included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Homeland Security Secretary General Kelly and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Other White House officials in attendance included Vice President Mike Pence, advisor slash son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump were also in attendance.
This is the second time executives like Cook and Bezos have met in this kind of setting with Trump. In December, then-president-elect had invited executives to a roundtable discussion at Trump Tower. That meeting was widely panned as a photo opp for Trump, and some of the executives came under fire for their participation.
Cook, Bezos and others have since been vocal critics of some of the administration’s policies, including the attempt to institute a travel ban for visitors from some majority-muslim countries. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord was also widely criticized by tech executives, with some withdrawing from advisory positions as a result.
However, some of the major tech companies opted not to attend Monday’s White House meeting: Facebook was invited, but decided to sit this one out, according to a Recode report. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly skipped the meeting as well.
Update: This post was updated multiple times throughout the day with the names of additional administration officials in attendance and topics of discussion.