Google CEO Sundar Pichai probably would have preferred to keep Wednesday’s meeting with President Trump quiet, but the president had other plans.
In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Trump said his meeting with Pichai had gone well, and that the Google CEO is “totally committed to the US Military, not the Chinese Military.” He added in a second tweet that the two had discussed “political fairness and various things Google can do for our country” (presumably Google’s practice of discriminating against conservative news organizations, part of the company’s crusade against “fake news”, as well as its active support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election)
Trump concluded by saying the meeting went “very well.”
The claim about Google’s commitment to the US military might seem puzzling, however, during a Senate hearing earlier this month, Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, accused the company of “indirectly benefiting” the Chinese military via Google’s work in China (which may soon include a censored search engine).
“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” Dunford told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee at a March 14 hearing. “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military.”
Pichai was also scheduled to meet with Dunford on Wednesday.
No word yet on whether Trump mistakenly referred to Pichai as “Mr. Google.”