President-Elect Trump Turns to Tech

It will be a tech-heavy couple of days for President-elect Donald Trump, according to transition team spokespeople Sean Spicer and Jason Miller.

Trump has a meeting scheduled with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates Tuesday, then will meet with tech execs Wednesday.

Miller said of the meeting: "The President-elect has said that we need to get back to innovators inventing things here in America and make sure that we have the business climate where companies who are just starting or people who have these ideas can get out there and have access to capital and the tax structure that fosters innovation. This is the type of President we're going to see from Donald Trump. We want to make sure that we are leading on the world stage and bringing the best and the brightest together."

He would not comment on which of those best and brightest would be meeting with Trump Wednesday.

He did not comment on the Gates meeting beyond referring reporters to a Gates interview with CNBC Tuesday—in which Gates likened Trump to John F. Kennedy—where Gates had "very favorable things to say about the President-elects dedication to innovation."

"[I]n the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that," Gates said, according to a CNBC transcript, "I think whether it's education or stopping epidemics… [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump's] administration [is] going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation."

According to the New York Times, tech companies expected at the meeting include Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, MIntel, Microsoft, Oracle, and Tesla.

According to Open Secrets, which tracks campaign contributions to candidates, those nine tech companies contributed a total of $4,169,828 to the campaign of Hillary Clinton and $28,225 to Trump (all from Oracle). Bill Gates may think Trump could be good for innovation, but Microsoft gave $710,000 to Clinton (the second most behind Alphabet/google's $1,315,000, while it gave none to Trump.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.