Trump Tells Tech Leaders, 'No Formal Chain of Command Around Here'

The CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Alphabet and Oracle are meeting with Trump.

ByABC News
December 14, 2016, 6:01 PM

— -- Donald Trump met today with some of the biggest names in the tech industry, touting them as an "amazing group of people" and appearing to institute an open-door policy, saying there is "no formal chain of command around here."

Among the leaders at the meeting were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle CEO Safra Catz, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Some of those who attended were Hillary Clinton supporters, and Trump targeted some of the companies during the campaign.

"We'll be there for you, and you'll call my people, you'll call me — it doesn't make any difference. We have no formal chain of command around here," Trump said.

"There's nobody like the people in this room, and anything we can do to help this go along," Trump said. He was joined by his three eldest children, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; Vice President–elect Mike Pence; and Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal who has been advising Trump; his chief of staff, Reince Priebus; and his chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

"We're gonna do fair trade deals and make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders," Donald Trump added.

Sandberg said she was "excited to talk about jobs," and Bezos said he was "superexcited about the possibilities to come of innovation in the administration."

The tech world and Trump have had a frayed relationship. Many Silicon Valley heavyweights publicly backed Clinton for president, with some notable exceptions, such as Thiel, who vocally supported Trump.

Trump has demonstrated a willingness to challenge the industry at times.

For example, in February, he bashed Apple for not cooperating with the investigators of the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack.

Apple fought a court order in February requiring it to help the FBI break encryption codes on the iPhone used by one of the attackers. "The implications of the government's demands are chilling," Cook said in a statement at the time.

"To think that Apple won't allow us to get into her cellphone — who do they think they are?” Trump said in an interview on Fox News. “No, we have to open it up.” At a campaign event in South Carolina on Feb. 19, he called for a boycott of Apple.

Last December, Trump unleashed tweets against Amazon and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates met separately with Trump on Tuesday.

ABC News' Ryan Struyk contributed to this report.

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