Google CEO to meet privately with top Republican lawmakers

Google CEO to meet privately with top Republican lawmakers
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai is set to meet privately with Republican lawmakers this week amid GOP accusations that the search engine is biased against conservatives.

“I look forward to meeting with members on both sides of the aisle, answering a wide range of questions, and explaining our approach,” Pichai said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

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News of the meeting comes after Google recently snubbed the Senate Intelligence Committee, which had requested that the company send a top executive to provide congressional testimony. Google offered up its vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, but committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSchiff: Evidence of collusion between Trump campaign, Russia 'pretty compelling' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Drama hits Senate Intel panel’s Russia inquiry MORE (R-N.C.) said Walker was not senior enough for the purposes of the hearing.

Pichai is expected to discuss issues including alleged anti-conservative bias and the company's relationships with Chinese companies.

“Google has a lot of questions to answer about reports of bias in its search results, violations of user privacy, anticompetitive behavior, and business dealings with repressive regimes like China,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCongress allows Violence Against Women Act to lapse Mandatory E-Verify: The other border wall Bret Stephens: Would love to see Hannity react when Dem declares climate change emergency MORE (R-Calif.) said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal in an article published Tuesday.

Google is also facing scrutiny from Republican lawmakers in a number of other areas, including its decision to drop a contract with the Pentagon, at the behest of its employees, while maintaining partnerships with businesses in China.

Republicans say that those partnerships are essentially helping the Chinese government, given the close ties between firms and the country’s ruling party.

Google is considering introducing a search engine in China that would comply with state censorship laws, according to The Intercept. Pichai and other executives have said that the company isn’t close to launching such a product.

Concerns about Google and other U.S. technology companies have reverberated through other parts of the federal government as well.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE has called the company, along with Facebook, “a very antitrust situation” that could warrant regulation, though he later walked back those remarks.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports McCabe: Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir Trump: 'Disgraced' McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning 'very illegal act' MORE on Tuesday is slated to meet with 13 state attorneys general to discuss alleged bias against conservatives by tech firms and the potential antitrust concerns posed by Google and others.

The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on data privacy featuring testimony with staffers from Apple, Amazon and Google.