Tech Leaders Convening At The White House To Jaw About IT

Washington D.C.         
                                     Eric Thayer  Getty Images

Washington D.C. Eric Thayer Getty Images

The event is the first to be launched under the American Technology Council, which Trump established by executive order in May.

Following Trump's June 1 decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords, Tesla (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk and Walt Disney (DIS.N) CEO Robert Iger stepped down from White House advisory panels.

Among his many other responsibilities, Kushner was tapped to lead "a SWAT team of strategic consultants" who are tasked with bringing business ideas to the federal government.

The council will also work on non-tech specific topics such as the H-1B visa program that the president has said he would cut back, drawing criticism from numerous country's biggest companies.

Chris Liddell, a White House aide who directs the technology effort, said the executives would participate in a series of working groups, concluding with a session with Trump.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, IBM's Ginni Rometty, Google's Eric Schmidt and Microsoft's Satya Nardella are expected to be among the high-profile tech leaders gathered around President Donald Trump today as he convenes the first meeting of the American Technology Council at the White House.

But much of the goodwill the industry may have been willing to extend the president at the beginning of his term in office has likely already been used up, as the White House has clashed with tech companies on a variety of issues, including immigration, encryption, and climate change.

As of Sunday afternoon, the White House had not released a list of expected attendees. The sessions will focus on methods of modernizing government technology and increasing cybersecurity measures.

He recently announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company, following the results of multiple probes into Uber's work culture and the sudden death of his mother. They are discussing issues like technology infrastructure, cyber security and visas for foreign workers.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the tech executives are attending the meeting to help the administration "make a more efficient, effective government". Peter Thiel, billionaire investor and Trump adviser, and John Doerr of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers will also attend.

"It turns out that federal agencies collectively operate 6,100 data centers, the vast majority of which can be consolidated and migrated to the Cloud, something a lot of you know a lot about", Kushner said.

Kushner is often seen standing beside Trump in the Oval Office or climbing the steps of Marine One but rarely heard beyond the corridors of power in Washington.

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