Warren rips Zuckerberg's meeting with Trump: 'Corruption, plain and simple'

'I won't cozy up to Facebook when I'm president'

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren tore into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for attending a previously undisclosed meeting with President Trump at the White House in October, accusing the tech billionaire of intentionally cozying up to the administration as his company faces increased scrutiny from regulators and Democratic lawmakers.

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"Amid antitrust scrutiny, Facebook is going on a charm offensive with Republican lawmakers," Warren wrote in a series of tweets on Thursday. "And now, Mark Zuckerberg and one of Facebook's board members—a major Trump donor—had a secret dinner with Trump. This is corruption, plain and simple."

If elected next year, Warren said she "won't cozy up to Facebook."

"It's time to root out corruption in Washington," she said.

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The meeting took place during Zuckerberg's most recent trip to Washington, where he testified before Congress about a number of different topics, including Facebook's political ad policy. NBC News first reported the story. It was the second meeting between Zuckerberg and the president in one month.

"As is normal for a CEO of a major U.S. company, Mark accepted an invitation to have dinner with the President and First Lady at the White House," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

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It's not the first time that Warren, who's vowed to break up big tech companies if elected next year, has pushed back against Zuckerberg. She's been a vocal critic of the social media behemoth's policy to let politicians run false advertisements and has previously blamed the company for helping Trump win the presidential election in 2016.

In this Aug. 3, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a candidate forum on labor issues in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Leaked audio from a Facebook question-and-answer session in July revealed Zuckerberg candidly discussing some of the sweeping proposals introduced by Warren and promising to "go to the mat" to fight her breakup plan if she wins the White House.

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"If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge," Zuckerberg said at the time. "And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government."

Shortly after the Verge released the audio, Warren responded on Twitter, renewing her criticism of Facebook.

"What would really 'suck' is if we don't fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy," she wrote.

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