Apple CEO Tim Cook has had a particularly long and tortuous relationship with our big boy in the White House. To recap, it’s included Donald Trump’s calls for an Apple boycott, awkward phone calls where the president promised Cook tax cuts if Apple did more manufacturing in the US, humiliating advisory meetings, Cook’s outrage over Trump’s refusal to condemn neo-Nazis, and finally, Trump exaggerating how much manufacturing Cook would bring to the US in exchange for those tax cuts.
So it’s no surprise that while Cook attended a White House state dinner in DC on Tuesday where Trump was hosting French President Emmanuel Macron, he did so looking extremely uncomfortable. Attending with him was Lisa Jackson, a former Environmental Protection Agency chief who is now an Apple VP—perhaps a little nod to how Trump’s administration has more or less committed to destroying that agency.
As can be seen in the Associated Press video below starting at 1:18, Cook appeared to gulp before flashing the quickest possible smile at the cameras outside:
If there’s any consolation, Cook was definitely not the only person entering that room who very dearly wanted to be anywhere else, but understands that suffering through some presidential pageantry might have tangible benefits to their bottom line. As noted by Politico, this particular occasion was brimming with some of the country’s richest corporate leaders.