POLITICS
22/11/2019 7:46 AM AEDT

Trump Reportedly Hosted Secret Dinner With Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg And Peter Thiel

Facebook confirmed to NBC News that the October meeting had taken place. The company would not say, however, what was discussed during the dinner.

In September, President Donald Trump held a surprise meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the White House. At the time, Zuckerberg said he’d had a “good” and “constructive” conversation with the president. The topics, however, were never revealed.

Now it’s been disclosed that the two met again a few weeks later for another unannounced dinner, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Facebook confirmed to the network that the pair, along with Facebook board member and Trump donor Peter Thiel, had dined at the White House in October. The company would not say, however, what they discussed nor why both Facebook and the White House had not disclosed that the dinner had taken place. 

Facebook characterized the October meeting as perfectly “normal.”

A company spokesperson told NBC News that Zuckerberg had “accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House” ― “as is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company.”  

According to the network, Zuckerberg’s dinner date with Trump took place around the same time as the Facebook chief’s testimony before the House Financial Services Committee about the tech giant’s new cryptocurrency, Libra.

During the hearing, Zuckerberg was grilled by lawmakers on a broad range of topics, including Libra’s potential pitfalls, Facebook’s stance on political ads and the company’s trust problem. 

“We certainly have work to do to build trust,” Zuckerberg conceded when asked about Facebook’s past failures to safeguard user data and privacy. 

Zuckerberg was also quizzed about his September meeting with Trump ― though he was not forthcoming with details. 

He said only that the antitrust investigations into Facebook and the company’s refusal to fact-check political ads had not come up during the meeting.

“Those subjects didn’t come up, but in general I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for me to comment in too much detail on private conversations,” Zuckerberg said.

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