Trump meeting with Tim Cook & other tech leaders today seeking help to use IT to cut costs

President Trump will meet today with the CEOs of almost 20 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Adobe, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Qualcom. He is reported to be seeking their advice on how to make better use of IT to cut costs.

The White House apparently believes that it can use technology to cut a trillion dollars from the government budget over the next ten years …

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Reuters reports that the claim was made on Friday, ahead of today’s meeting.

White House officials said on a conference call on Friday that the administration believed there was an “economic opportunity” to save up to $1 trillion over 10 years by significantly cutting government information technology costs, reducing government costs through improved IT, leveraging government buying power and cutting fraud across government agencies.

Trump has so far created two bodies charged with using the advice of businesses to help modernize government, the White House Office of American Innovation formed in March, and the American Technology Council last month. Tim Cook attended a previous meeting of tech leaders, but felt the need to explain this to employees, and said last week that he had not formally joined any council.

I’m not on a council, so I don’t have those kind of decisions. But I care deeply about America. I want America to do well. America’s more important than bloody politics from my point of view.

Re/code notes that Obama also tapped tech leaders for advice during his presidency, forming one advisory body and one hands-on one.

Trump is hardly the first president to try to leverage Silicon Valley in a bid to rethink the way Washington works. Tech giants similarly offered their aid to former President Barack Obama, who spent eight years trying to digitize more of the government’s services […]

The former Democratic president still left in place two tech-focused swat teams to aid federal agencies that sought to tap technology in more efficient ways. Trump, for now, has kept both intact.

The meeting is reportedly also going to discuss immigration, one of at least two topics on which Cook is strongly opposed to Trump’s stance.


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