Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reluctantly offered Congress a few details about his September meeting with President Donald Trump, telling lawmakers on Wednesday that antitrust did not come up during their conversation in the Oval Office.
Asked during a House Financial Services Committee hearing whether antitrust investigations into Facebook came up in the West Wing, Zuckerberg said: “I don’t think so, but the meeting was private, overall.”
“Those subjects didn’t come up, but in general I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for me to comment in too much detail on private conversations,” he said.
Zuckerberg also said that the topic of Facebook’s policies on fact-checking politicians did not come up during his conversation with Trump. Additionally, he said that he did not think there were note takers in the meeting, nor did he seem to know if there was an official record of what had occurred during his White House visit.
Speaking to reporters later, however, Rep. Madeleine Dean said she was unpersuaded by that claim.
“It defies logic that nobody in the room among his staff took notes,” she told CNN. “Of course people took notes. You don’t go into that high-powered a meeting and not document what was said, what was asked about, what was agreed, to what was left open. So we have more questions.”
The hearing was billed as an “examination of Facebook and its impact on the financial services and housing sectors.” During testimony, Zuckerberg was grilled about the future of his company’s digital currency, child sexual abuse content on Facebook and the inclusion of false content and hate speech on the platform.
Zuckerberg met with Trump in September, when the tech entrepreneur was in Washington to meet with members of Congress on Capitol Hill — including some of his harshest critics.
Trump has been among those critics, having repeatedly criticized Facebook as “anti-Trump” for perceived anti-conservative bias. The President has tweeted on multiple occasions in support of conservative activists who have either been kicked off of Facebook or had run-ins with the company.
The President confirmed the meeting in a tweet last month, writing, “Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of @Facebook in the Oval Office today.”
Zuckerberg has said he welcomes additional regulation of the tech industry, because certain key decisions about internet policy should not be left for a small circle of private companies to decide.