At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked some difficult questions. None was more difficult than a question asked by Iowa Rep. Steve King, however, whose question was literally impossible for Pichai to answer.
King said his 7-year-old granddaughter was playing a game on her phone before an election – most likely King’s November 2018 reelection bid – and was shown a picture of the congressman that included some not-so-flattering language.
“I’m not going to say into the record what kind of language was used around that picture of her grandfather,” he said.
Then, holding up his Apple device, King asked Pichai, “How does that show up on a 7-year-old’s iPhone who’s playing a kids game?”
The Google CEO answered the question by saying, “Congressman, iPhone is made by a different company.”
The Democratic staff table erupted in laughter at Pichai’s reply, according to Business Insider’s Joe Perticone, who attended Tuesday’s hearing.
King backtracked and said, “It might have been an Android. It’s just … it was a hand-me-down of some kind.”
Later in the hearing, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) told the Iowa congressman that if he wanted “positive search results, do positive things.” King has repeatedly found himself in hot water over his insensitive racial comments.
King wasn’t alone in holding up his iPhone when addressing Google’s CEO on Tuesday.
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) showed off his Apple device when asking Pichai whether Google tracked users’ phones for location data. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania) held his up as well when telling Pichai of the major responsibility he had because “there’s a lot of people who believe anything that’s put out, by anyone.”