Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook was among a batch of top tech executives who met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower.
Judging by photos taken of Cook at the event, he was enjoying it about as much as a root canal. Cook was not a Trump supporter, and he held a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in August.
In a Monday post on Apple’s internal intranet obtained by TechCrunch, Cook explained why he met with Trump.
After mentioning issues like renewable energy, tax reform, and intellectual-property reform, Cook wrote:
“There’s a large number of those issues, and the way that you advance them is to engage. Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be. The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. 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.”
Cook also said Apple ran its “business on 100 percent renewable energy,” which is the first time Apple has claimed that – most recently, Apple said earlier this year that 93% of its operations around the world (excluding the factories in its supply chain) were powered by renewable energy. Google announced that it would run its business on 100% renewable energy earlier this month.
Cook also points out a few “key areas of focus” for Apple policy:
“Governments can affect our ability to do what we do. They can affect it in positive ways and they can affect in not so positive ways. What we do is focus on the policies. Some of our key areas of focus are on privacy and security, education. They’re on advocating for human rights for everyone, and expanding the definition of human rights. They’re on the environment and really combating climate change, something we do by running our business on 100 percent renewable energy.”
It’s a pretty standard response, but it’s the first public Cook comment on the meeting with Trump to surface. Go read the whole thing at TechCrunch.