Tim Cook set to advise Trump’s ‘Office of American Innovation’

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Peter Thiel separates Tim Cook and Donald Trump at tech summit.
Peter Thiel separates Tim Cook and Donald Trump at tech summit.
Photo: Sean Spicer/Twitter

President Donald Trump is set to unveil a new government office today that’s tasked with overhauling federal bureaucracies, and he’s asked Tim Cook and other tech leaders for advice.

Even though Trump sparred with Cook on numerous issues during his presidential campaign, the Apple CEO will reportedly lend a hand to the Office of American Innovation. The new office will be led by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and will be tasked with making the country run more like a “great American company.”

The innovation office team meets twice a week in Kushner’s White House office, which is just a few feet away from the Oval Office. More than 100 business and technology leaders have already been hosted during sessions with the group.

Transforming the U.S. government

To help it transform government and cut federal bureaucracy and overreach, the innovation office is working with iconic tech figures like Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Tesla/SpaceX chief Elon Musk and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

“All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump said in a statement to The Washington Post. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”

Cook’s level of participation in the innovation office isn’t quite clear yet. Trump met with Cook and other top tech leaders after he won the election. The two have also reportedly spoken on the phone a few times.

Kushner plans to first focus the team on reimagining the Department of Veterans Affairs. Modernizing the technology infrastructure of every government department and agency is also on the to-do list, as well as developing transformative infrastructure projects like bringing broadband internet to all citizens.