Last week, a litany of angered tech industry titans teamed up to protest President Trump’s controversial executive order, barring Syrian refugees as well as seven Muslim-majority countries from entry to the US.
But as it turns out, some of the same companies that passionately stood up against the anti-immigration order also pledged big money to Trump’s inauguration ceremony, according to a new report from POLITICO.
Most notably, Google and Microsoft made sizeable contributions to the celebrations accompanying Trump’s swearing-in, offering both cash donations as well as technical services free of charge.
Citing undisclosed sources and federal documents, the publication claims Microsoft pledged $250,000 in cash as well as the same amount in technical services to the Presidential Inaugural Committee on December 28.
Google similarly provided technical support for the ceremony, including setting up a YouTube livestream of the inauguration, in addition to an unspecified cash injection. Interestingly, when the the newly-inaugurated commander-in-chief signed off on the Muslim ban, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a $4 million humanitarian fund dedicated to fighting the anti-immigration order.
Among others, Amazon and Facebook also extended a helping hand to the inauguration committee. While Amazon chipped in an undisclosed sum of cash on top of tech aids, Facebook told POLITICO it had volunteered to set up event attractions for party-goers, like Instagram photo booths as well as an improvised mini Oval Office.
It’s worth noting that some tech heavyweights have opted not to disclose the total magnitude of their contributions, which means we won’t find out for a while as the inaugural committee has 90 days to file the accounts for their fundraising efforts.
This also suggests such donations were made after December 31, which was the deadline for the latest round of lobbying reports. It could also mean some tech companies wanted to secretly curry favor with Trump to avoid harming their public image – especially in Silicon Valley which is known for its progressive politics.
Like The Guardian said not too long ago, nothing sells better than activism. Shame on you, big tech.