Why Did Pai Have A Trump Talk?


Leave it to Twitter to tell the world what’s up at The White House.

According to a widely distributed Tweet from Morning Consult technology reporter Amir Nasr, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had a 3pm meeting Monday (3/6) with President Trump.

The details are scarce, but the meeting comes two days prior to a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing with Pai and the FCC’s two Commissioners, Republican Michael O’Rielly and Democrat Mignon Clyburn. A House E&C Committee oversight hearing on the FCC, also scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed to give the Commissioners and Pai ample time to answer questions in the upper body of Congress.

News of Pai’s visit to the White House came via a Daily Guidance and Press Schedule for March 6, in which Pai’s first name was misspelled as “Aijit.”

Pai’s visit came following a lunch with VP Mike Pence and an early afternoon meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Speculation had Pai and Trump discussing “net neutrality,” as it is expected to come to an end, given Pai’s siding with American Enterprise Institute FCC transition team members including Mark Jamison and Roslyn Layton. Additionally, House E&C Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has also been an outspoken advocate of removing net neutrality legislation.

The concept of “net neutrality” involves the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications, regardless of the source. This means such access would be met without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.