House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is not happy with Tim Cook’s fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan today. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Democratic Party leader commented when asked about the event this morning that the Apple CEO is being advised poorly:
“Poor Tim. What a nice guy he is, but somebody gave him bad advice,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said at the end of an animated 15-minute phone interview Monday evening. “He probably doesn’t think that much about politics.”
Politico reported the Cook political fundraiser last week, which benefits Paul Ryan as well as other Republican Party members seeking reelection in the House of Representatives.
The private fundraiser came as a surprise to many Cook and Apple observers as the company recently opted not to support the Republican National Convention next month with financial or technological donations. That decision came as a sign of protest over the party’s presidential nomination of Donald Trump, who suggested a ban on Apple products earlier this year during a public debate over privacy and encryption and has similarly called for Apple products to be made completely in America.
Cook has also had a rather vocal political voice during his time as Apple CEO, calling for marriage equality and equal workplace protection for LGBT workers in the US. But his interest in Republican politics likely relates to Apple’s continued effort for corporate tax reform: the company has frequently complained about the tax rate for repatriating foreign funds.
Pelosi, who is a known Apple Watch aficionado, also seemed to take issue with Apple’s protest of Trump but support for the party nominating him as a presidential candidate:
“Everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do,” Pelosi said. “But when they say, ‘We don’t like what Trump says, but we’ll donate to his party,’ they’re either naive or they think we’re naive.”
Apple doesn’t have a corporate political action committee, however, so the Ryan fundraiser is solely a Tim Cook event and not an Apple official activity.