Many of the nation’s top tech CEOs met with President Donald Trump again at the White House on Monday, but there were some notable exceptions: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott, himself a former businessman, said that created a “missed opportunity” for them.
Some of the leaders meeting with Trump included CEOs from Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Musk was not on the list after he quit two of Trump’s business advisory councils following Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement. Zuckerberg, who also criticized the Paris decision, was not there due to a “scheduling conflict,” according to a Facebook spokesman.
During an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront,” Scott was asked about the leaders not being at the meeting. He said, “I think it’s a missed opportunity. I think it’s important to sit down with the President and tell him what you think.”
“If you care about the direction of this country, if you have the opportunity to go to the White House and sit down with the President of the United States, whether it’s a Republican or Democrat, show up,” he continued. “Show up and tell him what you believe. Look, no one is going to agree with everything you do, none of us do. But I would be there, I would show up and I would talk about what I care about.”
The interview comes as Scott faces growing speculation about whether he will run for the US Senate next year. It’s a bid that Trump himself urged Scott to consider on Friday, saying, “He’s doing a great job” and “I hope he runs for the Senate.”
But the governor said he isn’t ready yet to answer the President’s call.
“It’s 2017, the race is in 2018,” Scott said. “I won’t make a decision until later. Politicians seem to worry about their next job. I’ve got like 570 days to go in this job. I’m trying to make Florida No. 1 for jobs, No. 1 for people being safe – we’re at a 46-year low on our crime rate – and No. 1 for education.”