According to AppleInsider, technology leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, and government insiders met over the weekend at the American Enterprise Institute’s annual World Forum held at Sea Island, Georgia to plot the downfall of popular Republican presidential candidate and frontrunner Donald Trump.
In addition to Cook, Google co-founder Larry Page, Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk, and Napster creator Sean Parker were in attendance at the secretive confab, along with government insiders, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and a number of Republican senators. Republican strategist and former dirty trickster Karl Rove was also reportedly in attendance.
Influential members of the private sector were present as well, including billionaire Philip Anschutz and The New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger.
Paraphrasing Karl Marx’s communist manifesto, leading neocon and Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol emailed from the meeting that a “specter was haunting the World Forum—the specter of Donald Trump.”
“There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he’s done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated,” Kristol wrote.
In December Kristol said if Trump becomes the nominee, neocons and Republicans opposed to him will form a third party. “If the operatives I talked with are right, Trump running as a Republican could well face a third-party run—from the Republicans themselves,” wrote Jeff Greenfield.
Republican leaders have discussed the possibility of changing RNC rules to unbind delegates at the convention before the first round of balloting in order to undermine Trump. Others have mulled the idea of launching a negative ad campaign against him.
Apple’s opposition to the New York businessman is likely related to his assertion that the tech company should face a boycott because it has thus far refused to unlock a pair of iPhones the FBI claims are linked to the San Bernardino shootings.
According to sources present at the Sea Island meeting Apple CEO Cook locked horns with Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton over the encryption issue. Cotton serves on the Senate Committee on Armed Services and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Cotton was pretty harsh on Cook,” a source told the technology website. “Everyone was a little uncomfortable about how hostile Cotton was.”