Aware of a perception they leaned toward Democrats, tech giants went out of their way during President Barack Obama’s first term to build bridges with the other half of Washington.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Brigham Young University in March 2011 with Sen. Orrin Hatch, the longtime Republican senator. Three months later, Google hosted a happy hour with The Daily Caller, picking up the tab for a conservative-leaning crowd at a Capitol Hill dive bar.

Now, tech giants face their worst political storm yet, with President Trump making sustained, aggressive allegations of bias. Before “perception hardens into reality” and criticism morphs into policy, one tech industry public affairs pioneer urges corporate action.

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