Date: Monday, June 20th, 2016, 07:18
Category: Finance, MacBook, News
Thanks to the keen wit and bubble personality of one Donald Trump, Apple has told GOP leaders that it will not be providing funding or technical support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it has done in years past.
The company cited Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities. Unlike Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which have all said they will provide some support to the GOP event in Cleveland next month, Apple decided against donating technology or cash to the effort, according to two sources close to the story.
Apple’s decision to back away from the convention, which was communicated privately to Republicans, shows a widening schism between Silicon Valley and Trump’s bombastic style. Trump, in turn, singled out Apple for criticism earlier this year, calling for a boycott of the company’s products, and slamming CEO Tim Cook, over Apple’s stance on encryption.
Asked about Apple’s absence, a spokeswoman for the GOP’s convention effort replied: “We are working with a variety of major tech partners who are focused on being part of the American political process.”
Apple declined to comment for this story. It’s unclear how the company plans to handle the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this summer. A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Apple, in turn, has previously backed both the Democratic and Republican conventions in years past, providing about $140,000 each in MacBooks and other tech tools to the respective political conventions in 2008, according to campaign finance records. Apple did not write checks to either party four years later, but it did lend products to both conventions in 2012.
Typically, the tech industry tries to court Democrats and Republicans in equal measure. Despite the liberal leanings of Silicon Valley’s top executives, companies like Google and Facebook long have split their election-year donations among both parties’ officeholders. While Apple does not have a political action committee, Cook on his own has tried to forge personal relationships with Democratic and GOP lawmakers. He even dined in D.C. last year, for example, with a quartet of top House Republicans.
Trump’s ascendance, however, has upended the tech industry’s usual political calculations.
By declining to provide support, Apple joins a short list of tech companies taking a stand directly against Trump. Under pressure from activists at ColorofChange.org, HP Inc., a major donor to the GOP convention in 2012, announced in June it would not help fund the convention in Cleveland.
“We want them to divest from hate. We want them to pull all their money and support,” said Mary Alice Crim, field director for Free Press Action Fund, which is part of the anti-Trump campaign. Tech companies backing the convention, she said, need to be “thinking hard about where they put their brand, and whether they want to align their brand with racism, hatred and misogyny.”
As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.