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Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted having dinner Thursday with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner at Tosca, a high-end Italian restaurant just a few blocks away from the White House. According to Politico, the influential trio were joined in their Beltway power dinner by former Obama administration official Lisa Jackson, who is currently Apple VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives. She currently also sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation.
The meeting is yet another indication that Apple and other Silicon Valley corporations are repositioning following an acrimonious campaign season that put them at loggerheads with Donald Trump. Cook and other tech executives previously met face to face with Trump during a tech summit hosted at Trump Tower shortly after his election victory. Last month, Cook defended the decision in an internal memo to employees, in which he argued broadly that engaging and finding common ground is more profitable than simply yelling and stamping your feet in protest.
“Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be,” Cook wrote. “The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena…I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.”
Some policy priorities for Apple Cook explicitly mentioned in the memo included privacy, security, climate change, and job creation, which is a major element of Trump’s political agenda. Trump also campaigned on slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Cook has also famously proponed this position and publicly stated that Apple will not repatriate the billions in profit it has sheltered abroad until the US corporate tax rate is lowered.