Melania Trump visits Microsoft to thaw relationship, promote online behavior

The tech industry may not be a fan of President Donald Trump, but it welcomed the first lady, who visited as part of her "Be Best" campaign.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
President Donald J. Trump

Melania Trump has been heading up a campaign called "Be Best" to encourage better online behavior.

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Over the past couple years, Microsoft has publicly criticized President Donald Trump on everything from his travel bans to his administration's efforts to separate families of asylum seekers crossing the US border.

But Brad Smith, the company's outspoken president, met with first lady Melania Trump on Monday and said he wants to work with the administration when he can. "We'll partner where we can, we'll stand apart where we should," he said in an interview with GeekWire during the visit.

Trump was at Microsoft's campus as part of her "Be Best" campaign, which encourages better behavior online (despite President Trump's behavior to the contrary). During her visit, which appeared to last half an hour, Trump met with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and saw technology aimed at children. Some of those included parental controls for the company's Xbox video game console and its new Xbox Adaptive Controller for disabled gamers that was released last year

"The technology being designed not only includes safety features but also accessibility for all - a very exciting and new opportunity for many with limited mobility," Trump said, in a statement posted to The White House website

During her visit, Trump acknowledged that parents and children alike need more education about technology. "I feel that sometimes children know more than parents, especially in this age," Trump said.

Whether this is the beginning of a thaw in the relationship between the Trump administration and tech giants is yet to be seen. Smith said that although he met with the first lady, he plans to continue speaking out. 

"We have days when we disagree with this administration, just as we've had days where we've disagreed with other administrations, but today was a day where we could stand together to underscore an important message," he said to GeekWire.