Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a private breakfast on June 28 in California to raise funds for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). This comes shortly after the iPhone manufacturer announced that it will not provide support to the Republican National Convention because of the company’s differences over Donald Trump.
Ryan will make other stops next week in California. A spokesman would not give details about the trip. The spokesperson cited by POLITICO acknowledged that 2016 is a critical year for America, and that it “shouldn’t be a surprise Paul Ryan is raising funds to defend and strengthen the House Republican majority."
The fundraiser, which will be held in Menlo Park, is intended to raise funds for Ryan and other House Republicans. The breakfast is being hosted by Cook because Apple does not have its own corporate political action committee, as do Facebook, Google, and other Silicon Valley tech giants.
Trump’s campaign statements about women and immigrants, for example, prompted Apple to decide against donating cash and its tech smarts to the Republican convention. In previous years, Apple had provided support at both the Democratic and Republican nominating events.
Facebook and Google are remaining faithful to their commitments, having promised to provide technical support to the GOP convention. Trump’s campaign has not commented on Apple’s convention decision, but Trump himself has called for a boycott of Apple because of its stance on encryption. Earlier this year, federal law enforcement authorities had sought Apple’s assistance in breaking the code on an iPhone that belonged to the Sacramento Muslim terrorist killers. Apple refused, even though eventually the iPhone encryption was broken by the federal government.
Apple’s Cook has donated to political causes in the past, including to Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential run. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who supported Apple during its fight with the federal government over pricing its e-books. Cook also once wrote a personal check to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who shares the iPhone maker’s views on surveillance reform. This year, Cook provided support to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).
As far as Republicans are concerned, Cook has also been active. In August 2015, he held a fundraiser for Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who has joined with Apple in calling for tax reform.
Under Ryan’s watch, the 2016 policy agenda for House Republicans advocates consumer privacy and the need for encryption. "Tools like encryption are the bedrock of Internet security — without them, the web would be a far more dangerous place. We must work together in finding a path forward to keep our people — and our data — secure," the policy agenda says.
Cook came out as gay in 2014 and has made significant contributions to the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign. He has stated his intention of giving away most of his $1 billion in assets.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.