WASHINGTON, D.C. — California Rep. Darrell Issa called out a room full of CEOs and Silicon Valley insiders for not supporting President-elect Donald Trump.
“None of you in this room supported Trump,” Issa said at the Innovation Nation lunch held Thursday in Washington, D.C. “Eighty percent of you supported Hillary, 20 percent supported some other loser,” Issa said. Though it was delivered as a joke, no one in the room laughed. (RELATED: Silicon Valley Loses Its Mind After Trump Wins)
The lunch, sponsored by some of the biggest names in tech — e.g., Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook and Google, to name a few — brought together tech CEOs and trade association leaders. Jay Carney, former press secretary for President Barack Obama and currently vice president for corporate affairs at Amazon, also attended. The event was held at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab just a few blocks from the White House.
Tech companies that rely on international trade, hire recent immigrants for skilled positions, and outsource operations overseas, have concerns about how Trump’s America-first policies will affect business.
Issa, who founded a company that became the largest after-market producer of car security equipment, believes that Trump will be more open to innovation and new ideas than the outgoing administration.
Trump might be “just crazy enough to do what we want,” Issa said, soliciting a laugh.
Trump wasn’t Issa’s first choice for president either, though he did support him before the Republican National Convention in July. “I was an early on supporter of Trump– just after my candidate dropped out,” Issa said. “I just want you to know you’re not alone.”
“The tech industry is critical to our economy, supporting more than 15 million U.S. jobs,” Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association and one of the organizers of the Innovation Nation lunch, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Shapiro, who introduced Issa at the lunch, said the tech industry is particularly interested in the Trump administration’s deregulation policies and plans to stimulate infrastructure growth.
“We want to work with the Trump Administration on shared goals such as supporting smart infrastructure, rolling back federal rules that stifle innovation, shutting down the patent extortion racket, and updating our existing trade deals to reflect changing times,” Shapiro said.
“I’m here to help you folks do well,” Trump said at the meeting.
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