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Uber CTO calls Trump a 'deplorable person' in staff email, says report

Thuan Pham, Uber
Source: Uber
Thuan Pham, Uber

Uber's chief technology officer Thuan Pham blasted President Donald Trump in an email to a small group of staff shortly after the presidential election, according to a report from Business Insider.

The email reportedly resurfaced this week, as more employees circulated the message internally. In the email, Pham called Trump a "deplorable person" and said his election was a huge step backward — likening it to the rise of ruthless dictators and regimes such as Mao Zedong in China and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Business Insider reported. Uber declined to comment.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is one of a number of tech executives named to Trump's Strategic and Policy forum. Some employees see this as a shrewd move to ensure the company has the president's ear on issues it cares about — like regulations governing autonomous cars — but others worry about the costs of being perceived as pro-Trump, according to the report.

Uber Protest in San Francisco
Source: CNBC

At a recent companywide meeting, Kalanick highlighted other prominent executives also advising Trump and said the company will partner with anyone to help advance its mission to improve transport in cities.

"The CEO of Disney, the CEO of IBM, the CEO of GM, the CEO of Uber, the CEO of Tesla, and maybe 15 other companies you've heard of. ... We have a party — our political party is called the Urban Mobility Party. The shorthand is UMP. We're a coalition party; we'll partner with anyone in the world as long [as] they're about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets," Kalanick said at the meeting.

On Friday, anti-Trump protesters barricaded the front entrance to Uber's headquarters by chaining themselves to its doors. An Uber spokesperson told CNBC the company stands by its position.

"As a company we're committed to working with government on issues that affect riders, drivers and the cities where we operate. Just as we worked with the Obama Administration, we'll work with the Trump Administration, too," Uber said in an emailed statement to CNBC.

— With reporting form CNBC's Sally Shin