- Reuters/Yuri Gripas
Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a private breakfast for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan next week, Politico reports.
The breakfast is being hosted by Cook, according to the report, and not Apple itself. The event is expected to raise funds that will help elect House Republicans as well as Ryan.
The move is a sign that Apple remains a bipartisan tech company, even as it has withdrawn its support for the Republican National Convention because of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s controversial views and campaign.
Previously, Apple donated support to both the Republican and Democratic conventions, and according to OpenSecrets.org, it has donated to both Republican and Democratic candidates in recent cycles.
But strong government relations are becoming more important to Apple. Cook has taken strong public stances on certain issues in recent years, including gay rights and climate change.
Apple became embroiled in a complicated policy debate earlier this year when the FBI asked it to create a custom hack so it could tunnel into an iPhone used by a mass shooter. (Ryan unveiled a national-security plan last week that agreed with Apple that strong encryption was “the bedrock of internet security.”)
And Apple is facing the end of a substantial European Union tax investigation next month, according to reports, that could end up costing the company billions.
Those issues all have a strong governmental component, and it appears as if Apple wants to curry favor among lawmakers and bureaucrats – no matter their party affiliations. As the most powerful person in the House of Representatives, Ryan is a good friend to have.