We talked to nearly 30 Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley insiders to find out which tech companies are working to advance their goals with the new administration—and which are keeping a distance. The insiders agreed that while cultivating a good relationship between a CEO and the president isn’t the only way to further an agenda—Congress writes the laws, after all—in this case it might be useful. “It seems like Trump wants to do things from the Oval Office, and he’s only going to bring in CEOs,” one lobbyist told us. “He likes CEOs. He was a CEO.” A former Obama administration official noted, “Everything suggests to me that the return on investment for engaging with the administration has gone up. This administration’s . . . idiosyncratic policymaking practice means you want to be heard often and in many different forms, so they don’t forget what your priorities are.”
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Here’s where the key players stand.
Elon Musk, Tesla & SpaceX
Key donation: $5,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2015
Twitter: “Good grief, I’m not ‘working’ for Trump. I’m trying to provide advice that helps take things in a more positive direction.” 2/15/2017
Insider’s view: “Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, next only to the bankers, speak Trump’s language. It’s all about these weird, exceptional, crazy people. ‘The world’s been standing in our way.’ ” —Technology think tank fellow
Assessment: After months…