Yet there’s still plenty of money on the table. Apple and other firms stand to repatriate billions of dollars stashed overseas under a favorable tax reform deal. Major federal government contracts are in the offing. Tech companies have already stocked up on Trump-friendly lobbyists to plead their case.

“This is an especially critical time for CEOs to engage with the President of the United States!  He wants to hear from them and truly listens,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor and associate dean at the Yale School of Management, wrote by email, citing Trump’s reversal on scrapping NAFTA as proof that Trump could respond to pressure from business figures. ”But these CEOs must be careful to  avoid  blind endorsements of political agendas and smiling sycophantic photo-ops.”

So far, people like Apple’s CEO Cook have argued that engagement with Trump, despite their well-known disagreements, was still the best way to press the company’s arguments. “At the end of the day, I’m not a person who’s going to walk away and say, ‘If you don’t do what I want, I leave,'” Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg. “I care deeply about America. I want America to do well. America’s more important than bloody politics from my point of view.”

As Trump’s troubles build—the investigation into Russian meddling into the election is accelerating and his approval ratings are have sunk as low as 36%—Silicon Valley could end up publicly disengaging with the administration, or exert more leverage over the administration than once predicted. The president may need tech CEOs more than they need him.

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