The Strange Reason Why Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Was "Bounced" From The Trump Meeting
With the exception of the Fed statement, the biggest event of the day was Donald Trump's mega technology summit in New York on Wednesday which hosted leaders of tech companies to provide an olive branch and attempt to bury a past, in which most of Silicon Valley was a firm supporter of Hillary Clinton.
As we reported earlier, Trump sat down with top tech executives, including several of his sharpest critics, to mend fences after a divisive election in which virtually all of Silicon Valley backed Hillary Clinton. Trump was heading into hostile territory - with the exception of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley shunned the New York billionaire during the presidential campaign, throwing their weight behind his Democratic rival Clinton.
The tech talks, convened by Trump, bought together numerous CEOs such as Tim Cook of Apple, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Larry Page of Alphabet (Google) and Brian Krzanich of Intel, among others. In addition to Trump nemesis Jeff Bezos, also on the guest list are Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Oracle chief executive Safra Catz.
As CNBC calculated, the CEOs present had a combined market value of more than $3 trillion.
- Apple — $616 billion
- Alphabet — $555 billion
- Microsoft — $489 billion
- Amazon — $366 billion
- Facebook — $347 billion
- Intel — $173 billion
- Oracle — $167 billion
- IBM — $160 billion
- Cisco — $154 billion
- Tesla — $32 billion
- SpaceX — $15 billion
- Total — $3.074 trillion
However, one prominent tech CEO was missing: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whose absence puzzled pundits. Twitter's omission was all the more striking because of Trump's heavy dependence on the Twitter platform. With some 17.3 million followers of his account, the president-elect has made Twitter into the de facto press channel of his transition operation.
We now know the answer why Dorsey was MIA: according to Politico, Twitter was told it was "bounced" from Wednesday's meeting between tech executives and President-elect Donald Trump in retribution for refusing during the campaign to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #CrookedHillary, according to a source close to the situation.
Trump has had public beefs with other tech execs at the sit-down. He's criticized Cook over Apple's refusal to decrypt a cellphone whose owner was implicated in a terrorist incident, for example, and Bezos over his ownership of The Washington Post. But, it seems, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's role in what the Trump operation saw as the breaching of a deal was a step too far for those close to Trump.
The incident at issue was detailed in a Medium post last month by Gary Coby, director of digital advertising and fundraising for the Trump campaign. According to Coby, Dorsey personally intervened to block the Trump operation from deploying — as part of a $5 million deal between the social media company and the campaign — an emoji showing, in various renderings, small bags of money being given away or stolen. That emoji would have been offered to users as a replacement for the hashtag #CrookedHillary, a preferred Trump insult for his Democratic opponent."
We told them it was BS and what they were doing with a public platform was incredibly reckless and dangerous," wrote Coby of the back-and-forth between the Trump operation and Twitter.
According to the source, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer, who is an adviser to the Trump transition, made the call to refuse an invitation to Dorsey or other Twitter executives to the meeting, which was organized by Silicon Valley investor and Facebook board member Peter Thiel, who has been an adviser to Trump. The Trump-Pence transition team also did not respond to a request for comment.
Spicer told the Washington Examiner in October about the emoji dustup that "while Twitter claims to be a venue that promotes the free exchange of ideas, it's clear that it's leadership's left wing ideology literally trumps that."
In recent days, Twitter also found itself standing apart from its Silicon Valley counterparts when it comes to Trump. It was the only major to tech company to say on the record that it would refuse to participate in building a "Muslim registry" that the president-elect has proposed.
So now we know what Trump considers a dealbreaker: suggest that he may be a democracy-crushing tyrant, as Jezz Bezos did just two months ago, and that's ok. But refuse a Twitter emoji, and... well that offense may have been sufficient for Trump to use his catchphrase if Dorsey was an employee of Trump (even if many TWTR longs wish the CEO was indeed "fired.")