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Trump calls for ‘sweeping transformation’ of gov IT as Tim Cook pushes to make coding a requirement in schools

REUTERS/Carlos Barria (Caption contest in the comments…)

As we reported earlier today, Tim Cook was among a handful of tech executives who met with President Donald Trump today in Washington D.C. The central purpose of the meeting was to help use technology to cut costs and further modernize the United States government. Now, Recode is offering up a few additional details as to what was said…

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President Trump called for a “sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology” at the meeting, which consisted of Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Palantir CEO Alex Karp, and many more.

Throughout the meeting, Trump admitted that the United States government very munch needs to play “catch up” with the private sector in terms of technology, saying that federal agencies owe it to citizens to offer “dramatically better services to citizens.”

After a day of meetings with those and other tech executives at the White House, Trump admitted the feds had to “catch up” with the private sector: He said federal agencies had to deliver “dramatically better services to citizens,” for example, while buying cheaper, better technology and adopting “stronger protections from cyberattacks.”

Specifically, Tim Cook pitched to President Trump that the united States should make coding a requirement in school’s, something he has voiced his opinion on in the past as well.  Cook has pointed to efforts such as Swift Playgrounds as Apple’s way of encouraging young kids to take up coding. Cook also agreed with Trump in saying that the United States has much to do to modernize its technology infrastructure.

Press secretary Sean Spicer explained the meeting:

“I think it’s pretty telling that the President brings these kind of people together,” Spicer said. “We will work with individuals, regardless of what their past political beliefs are, to further the President’s agenda and to bring ideas to the table.”

The White House plans to continue its “tech week” with various other meetings with leading tech companies. For instance, a meeting on drones is slated for Thursday, while the Trump administration also plans to announce “additional tech reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday.”

In addition to making coding a requirement, it’s also believed that Cook voiced his opinions on the importance of immigration to the US economy; the vital need to protect strong encryption; better serving veterans through medical care and hiring policies; and ensuring that human rights remain a priority.

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