SAN FRANCISCO — A video posted to the right-wing media site Breitbart on Wednesday showed Google executives bemoaning the election of President Trump at a company meeting in 2016.
The release of the leaked video is the latest volley in an expanding campaign by Republicans and allies in the media to demonstrate that Google and other Silicon Valley firms are biased against conservatives. Last week, Jeff Sessions, the United States attorney general, said he will meet with Republican state attorneys general this month to discuss whether social media companies are stifling conservative voices.
Google has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks since Mr. Trump accused the company of gaming search results to suppress positive stories about his administration — a charge the company denied and that search experts said was implausible.
The company also annoyed both Republicans and Democrats last week by declining to send a top executive to testify at a Senate committee hearing on foreign interference in elections. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey attended the session, and a seat for a Google executive was theatrically left empty next to them.
The hourlong video of a companywide meeting in November 2016 shows a parade of senior executives from Google and its parent company, Alphabet, expressing dismay about the election. Google often holds all-hands gatherings it calls T.G.I.F. meetings. They are usually streamed over the internet to company offices all over the world.
Among the people who spoke were Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, and Ruth Porat, Alphabet’s chief financial officer. Both appeared to become emotional, choking up while speaking. Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, said that he was “deeply offended” by the election of Mr. Trump and that his victory was in conflict with many of the company’s values. Mr. Brin, who immigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, said, “As an immigrant and refugee, I certainly find the selection deeply offensive.”
Also, Eileen Naughton, Google’s head of people operations, said some conservative employees had told her that they were uncomfortable with being open about their political views. She encouraged employees to be tolerant of other views.
“We value perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum,” she said.
The meeting, described in earlier media accounts, including in The New York Times, felt “like a funeral,” Mike Cernovich, a right-wing media personality and agitator, said on Twitter after Breitbart posted the video.
In a statement, Riva Sciuto, a Google spokeswoman, said that at the regularly scheduled session, some Google employees “expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season.” She added that “nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products.”
Earlier this week, Fox News obtained an internal email from a former head of multicultural marketing at Google detailing the company’s efforts to turn out Latino voters for the presidential election. Breitbart and other conservative media sites pointed to the email as a sign that Google was secretly working to support Hillary Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign.
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader, tweeted that Google needed to be questioned in front of Congress about the email and potential plans for a censored search engine for China. Other conservatives seized on the video as evidence of Google’s bias and echoed Mr. McCarthy’s sentiments.
Google has also added to the political pressure. The company offered to send Kent Walker, its senior vice president of global policy, to last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. The committee balked and said Google, like Facebook and Twitter, should send a top executive like Mr. Pichai or Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and the chief executive of Alphabet.
It is not a surprise that Google employees and executives — many of whom are significant donors to the Democratic Party — were disappointed by the outcome of the presidential election. In January 2017, more than 2,000 employees staged a rally protesting Mr. Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven mostly Muslim nations.
Google became a target in the culture wars that have found another front in Silicon Valley when it fired James Damore, an engineer who wrote a memo that criticized the company’s diversity efforts and argued that the low number of women in engineering positions was a result of biological differences.
His dismissal became a rallying point for conservatives who saw Silicon Valley companies as dominated by liberal political and social views. Mr. Damore is suing Google for workplace discrimination, claiming that Google is biased against white men with conservative views.
The company also upset conservatives when thousands of Google employees protested the company’s work on developing artificial intelligence for the Pentagon. Google responded to the dissent by agreeing to not renew a contract with the Pentagon when it expired.
Follow Daisuke Wakabayashi on Twitter: @daiwaka
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