Technology company officials and top Republican Party operatives met over the weekend at a private resort off Georgia to discuss how to stop presidential front-runner Donald Trump, according to news reports.
The gathering at the American Enterprise Institute's World Forum annual event on Sea Island included such Silicon Valley executives as Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, Google co-founder Larry Page, Napster creator and Facebook investor Sean Parker, and Tesla Motors and SpaceX executive Elon Musk, The Huffington Post reports.
Top GOP officials on hand were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan — as well as Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Cory Gardner of Colorado, Rob Portman of Ohio, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Those representing the House included Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Budget Committee Chairman Fred Price of Georgia.
Business leaders at the secretive gathering were billionaire Republican donor Philip Anschutz — as well as The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times.
A Times spokeswoman confirmed to the Huffington Post that he attended.
Republican political analyst Karl Rove also attended, presenting focus-group findings showing Trump as "erratic" and not appearing "presidential" to voters, the Post reports, citing sources familiar with the session.
"A specter was haunting the World Forum — the specter of Donald Trump," Kristol wrote in a report from the conference. He was citing the opening lines of "The Communist Manifesto."
"There was much unhappiness about his emergence, a good deal of talk, some of it insightful and thoughtful, about why he's done so well, and many expressions of hope that he would be defeated," Kristol wrote.
"The key task now, to once again paraphrase Karl Marx, is less to understand Trump than to stop him," he continued. "In general, there's a little too much hand-wringing, brow-furrowing, and fatalism out there and not quite enough resolving to save the party from nominating or the country electing someone who simply shouldn't be president."
According to the sources, the talk on Trump centered on "how this happened, rather than how are we going to stop him," the Post reports.
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