Apple Inc. is making efforts to court leaders of both parties, and at the same time steering clear of Donald Trump, says a report from POLITICO. Next week, Tim Cook – Apple CEO – will host a fundraiser with House speaker Paul Ryan to strengthen its relationships with the key Republicans. The Cupertino-based firm has already decided to pull its support for the GOP convention because of Trump.
Apple has no corporate political action committee
As per an invite obtained by POLITICO, on June 28, at a private breakfast in Menlo Park, California, Cook – along with Gary Wipfler, the firm’s treasurer – will assist in generating cash for Ryan. The money benefits both the speaker and a joint fundraising committee that works to elect other House Republicans.
Cook is hosting the fundraiser on his own accord as Apple Inc. do not have a corporate political action committee like Google, Facebook and other tech giants in the Silicon Valley. One of Cook’s priority issues is encryption, and the House GOP’s new 2016 policy agenda under Ryan is overseeing the customer privacy and the need for encryption.
The policy agenda says, “Tools like encryption are the bedrock of Internet security — without them, the web would be a far more dangerous place.”
Steering clear of Trump
Even at a time when the iPhone maker has serious revelations about Donald Trump – the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee – the move still reflects Apple’s desire to court Democratic and Republican officeholders alike, the report says. Trump has repeatedly taken shots at Cook and the tech giant over its stance on encryption, and even called for a boycott of Apple’s products.
Trump’s inflammatory remarks about immigrants, minorities and women led the iPhone maker to decide against donating cash and tech to the GOP’s convention in Cleveland next month, says POLITICO. In previous years, Apple had provided such assistance to Republican and Democratic nominating events.
An Apple spokesman refused to comment on the story. Further, no comments have been reported by the Trump campaign on Apple’s convention decision, and this marks a break with other tech giants, like Google and Facebook, which have said to support the Republican nominating event this year.
Cook aims to please both groups?
Cook has tried to improve his relationships with Republicans and Democrats. Steve Jobs, Apple’s late co-founder, despised Washington.
Cook did make a donation during Obama’s first White House run. Last year, Cook donated cash to Sen. Chuck Schumer – a vocal Apple ally during its fight in e-books case. Cook wrote a personal check to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) the same year. Leahy shares Apple’s views on surveillance reform. Cook also backed Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) – a leading tech policy advocate – in 2016.
Cook has been active on the Republican side as well. The Apple CEO huddled with leading Republicans, including Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), to talk patent reform and other issues, when he visited Washington in May 2015. As per an invite obtained by POLITICO, Cook hosted a fundraiser for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in August. Portman is a major ally in Apple Inc. ’s calls for tax reform in Atherton, California.