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Tim Cook says he met with Elon Musk and Donald Trump because ‘it’s even more important to engage when there’s disagreement’

Tim Cook doing a 'peace' sign with his fingers while attending the Apple Original series 'Ted Lasso' Season 3 red carpet premiere event.Tim Cook told GQ he believes in “engaging” even in “disagreement.”

Emma McIntyre/WireImage

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook told GQ that he believes in “engaging” even in “disagreement.”
  • Cook made the remarks in reference to past meetings with figures like Donald Trump and Elon Musk.
  • Musk had previously met with Cook after tweeting about Apple, “Do they hate free speech in America?”

Tim Cook said he believes in the importance of discourse with figures who don’t always agree with him, including Twitter CEO Elon Musk and former president Donald Trump. 

Referencing his past conversations with Musk — who took issue with Apple in November over certain advertising practices — and then president Donald Trump, the Apple CEO said, “I feel very strongly about engaging with people regardless of whether they agree with you or not,” according to a new interview with GQ. 

“I actually think it’s even more important to engage when there’s disagreement,” Cook told GQ. 

That open personal approach may also carry significance for Apple’s business dealings. 

Cook’s seeming rapprochement with Musk last year had followed the Twitter CEO’s tweet in November: “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” Musk had also alleged that Apple had inexplicably “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store,” according to another tweet that day

Then, just two days later, Musk posted a video at Apple’s headquarters, tweeting more approvingly of Cook, and saying the Apple chief had helped clear their “misunderstanding.” 

Representatives for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday morning ahead of publication. Insider’s email sent to Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX email addresses did not receive a response. 

Cook had also met with Donald Trump when, as president at the time, Trump was pushing for a series of tariffs on imports from China. In 2019, amid Trump’s escalating moves on trade, Cook met with Trump, reportedly earning the then president’s praise as a “a great executive” who “calls me and others don’t,” and possibly the moniker “Tim Apple.” 

The discussions seemed to have paid off for Apple. In December 2019, the company managed to duck 15% tariffs that could have made signature products like iPhones and laptops more expensive. 

A representative for Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Cook addressed those types of interactions in the GQ story, telling the outlet, “The philosophy is engagement.” 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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