President Donald Trump met with several CEOs of Silicon Valley technology companies at the White House on Monday, welcoming their efforts to help make government more efficient.
He also signaled openness to working with the tech CEOs on immigration, as the group discussed H1-B visas, according to a White House official.
“[W]e’re working very diligently with everybody, including Congress, on immigration so that you can get the people you want in your companies,” Trump said, after the meeting.
Over a dozen White House aides spent the afternoon meeting with 18 different CEOs including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Vice President Mike Pence and senior advisers to the president Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Gary Cohn, Dina Powell, and Stephen Miller were also present. The group spoke at length about how to make government more efficient.
“Government needs to catch up with the technology revolution,” Trump said after the meeting, pointing to “painfully outdated technology” in government.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos prioritized the importance of artificial intelligence, saying that it was “impossible to overstate.”
Silicon Vally billionaire Peter Thiel, a key supporter of the president’s campaign, was also present for the meeting, “Your administration is doing very well,” he said, thanking the president for the set of meetings at the White House.
Trump showered praise on the CEOs, thanking them in turn for creating wealth in the country.
“Your innovation has shaped the modern world and created millions of jobs,” Trump said, praising the attendees and thanking them for their time. “America should be the global leader in government technology just as we are in every other aspect, and we are going to start our big edge again in technology.”