Trump to dine with Apple CEO Tim Cook

The Trump administration has not had a smooth relationship with technological giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. (AFP pic)

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook.

“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter.

“They will be spending vast sums of money in the US Great!”

He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.

Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon, Alphabet Google and Facebook have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.

He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views.

Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticised its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.

Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives.

Democrats in the House conducted an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

Earlier this week, FTC chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he would not allow Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms  to affect his agency’s decisions.

Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programmes that meet the changing demands of US employers.

The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders.

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.