The following story will be a fine line to walk for members to discuss. It's definitely political in nature, but it is also one of the biggest news stories of the day, so it's worth sharing. (Please remember the forum rules about not getting into political arguments, but feel free to discuss the strangeness of the situation).
This past weekend, an assortment of industry leaders met with U.S. Republican leadership at the American Enterprise Institute's annual World Forum. The most notable attendees were folks like Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Larry Page, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Napster co-founder Sean Parker, and several more tech titans. The GOP leadership in attendance included folks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.
According to reports from attendees, the primary topic of the meeting was to discuss how and why Donald Trump has risen to become the front-runner for the Republican party's nomination, and to discuss ways to stop him from winning the nomination. Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard wrote the following:
"A specter was haunting the World Forum–the specter of Donald Trump,” [Bill] Kristol wrote in an emailed report from the conference, borrowing the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto. “There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated."
Kristol also shared, "The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him. In general, there's a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn't be president."
The meeting also included a presentation by Karl Rove, a political consultant for the Republican Party. His presentation was meant to share focus group findings regarding Donald Trump. The rise of Trump was not the only big topic of the pseudo-secret meeting. The other important issue being discussed by these powerful people was Cook's stance on encryption for Apple and their legal tussle with the FBI.
Apparently, Tom Cotton and Tim Cook engaged in a fierce debate that got a bit too heated. One source shared, "Cotton was pretty harsh on Cook. Everyone was a little uncomfortable about how hostile Cotton was."
The meeting was held at the Sea Island Resort in Georgia (shown above).