After a meeting between technology leaders and the president-elect, what went unsaid may be even more telling than what was.
Most technology CEOs that met with Donald Trump this week have been silent — and that says a lot, Recode's executive editor, Kara Swisher, told CNBC on Friday.
"Interestingly, none of them put out statements to their employees afterward, which is very typical when executives go to these big, important meetings," Swisher said on "Squawk Alley." "There wasn't a peep out of any of them ... there's a lot of discomfort within the employee ranks. A lot of employees have put together statements about this, and signed different things about Muslim registries and things like that."
Top executives from Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Intel, Oracle, IBM, Cisco and Tesla convened at New York City's Trump Tower on Wednesday, where Swisher says they discussed immigration, paid maternity leave, the grid and becoming the "software president."
After the gathering, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the meeting was very productive, while Safra Catz, Oracle's chief executive and a Trump transition team member, flashed a thumbs up to cameras, and mentioned some potential tax policy expectations in the company's earnings call on Thursday. But other companies have not publicly released statements.
"When you feel like you've made some progress, you make a statement. And none of them made a statement. I find that fascinating," Swisher said.
Earlier this week, CFRA analyst Scott Kessler told CNBC that he expected the strategy of technology executives to be hitting a couple areas of common ground. Kessler pointed to companies that drew criticism from Trump, like Lockheed Martin, as cautionary tales. Lockheed briefly shed as much as $4 billion in value after Trump was critical of the company in a tweet on Monday.
"I would be surprised if the leaders would say anything negative because they know what the fallout could be, possibly," Kessler said. "I think a lot of people are looking for mutual positives for things coming out of that session."
While executives like Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella did push Trump on topics like maternity leave and immigration, the tone of the meeting was largely friendly, Swisher said.
"I think they didn't challenge him enough," Swisher said, adding: "I think they just didn't speak out because they're trying to get along. Which I understand that completely. But these are the leaders of the most important companies, probably in the world at this point. And so, I feel they are important leaders, and they have an important voice and important influence, and didn't really use it here ... there's a way to put your opinion out and be polite at the same time, and that's the point of a democracy."
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox Media. Recode and NBC have a content-sharing arrangement.