US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Bilderberg, Switzerland, for secretive meetings with high-powered guests and billionaires.
Pompeo, who was not on the event’s guestlist, arrived today at the Fairmont Montreux Palace hotel for the clandestine technology and business conference.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s special advisor, is also attending the secretive meetings where he might use the forum to try to drum up support for his yet to be unveiled Middle East peace plan.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured with his wife Suzan, left, receives a tour of the historic centre of Bern in Switzerland during his appearance at the Bilderberg Conference
A protestor holds a banner in front of the entrance to the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel where this year’s conference is taking place
Pompeo listens to Swiss MP Christa Markwalder during a visit to the Swiss House of Parliament in Bern
At the end of the afternoon, the Secretary of State joined the Bilderberg group for a short boat tour of Lake Geneva.
Bathed in sunshine, the assorted industrialists, financiers and ministers enjoyed drinks and nibbles on board the traditional steamboat.
The cruise took the elite conference participants along the coastline of Montreux and round to Castle Chillon, where they enjoyed a luxurious banquet and a speech given by Secretary Pompeo.
This evening the group will be enjoying drinks on a luxury boat which is ferrying them over lake Geneva from the Tennis Club at Montreux to the stunning and historic Castle Chillon, where they will experience an indulgent banquet and lengthy keynote speech.
Guests have been arriving since Thursday with the heavyweight American delegates, Pompeo and Kushner, the last to arrive.
Although Kushner features on the group’s participant list, Pompeo’s name was notably absent, even though it was announced he had meetings scheduled with Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Federation, and ‘Swiss business leaders’.
The Secretary of State is on a four-nation tour of Europe but he did not feature on the list of some 130 elites from 23 countries participating in the Swiss event.
Trump has also sent two members of his National Security Council, Matthew Turpin, Director of China and Matthew Pottinger.
Flanked by his security detail, President Trump’s special advisor Jared Kushner boards the boat which will take him and the rest of the Bilderberg Group to the Castle Chillon
The King of Holland, Willem-Alexander, heads on board with his bodyguard for wine and pre-banquet snacks
Silicon valley billionaire Reid Hoffman basks in the late afternoon sunshine before drinks and canapes on Lake Geneva with his fellow conference participants
Security staff guard the area near the US Secretary of State during the highly-secretive meetings
Pompeo shakes the hand of Ms Markwalder during a tour of Bern at the Swiss conference
As is customary, the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who recently turned 96, is in attendance.
Tech billionaires Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman were among the first to arrive at the three day secretive Bilderberg conference in Switzerland which is running from May 30 to June 2.
Former Google CEO Schmidt, 64, PayPal co-founder Thiel, 51, and LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman, also 51, are among more than a hundred high-powered guests at the summit in the five-star hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Pictured arriving for talks at the start of the conference were King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary and Marie-Josée Kravis who sits on the board of luxury goods conglomerate LMVH, which includes Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon.
Tech billionaire Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO director, was pictured at the secretive Bilderberg conference in Switzerland
PayPal co-founder Thiel, 51, is also among more than a hundred high-powered guests at the summit in Montreux
LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman (pictured emerging from a car), 51, is also among guests at the secretive talks. After the sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft, Reid Hoffman enjoyed a huge windfall before joining the Microsoft board of directors
Also pictured arriving for talks were King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (in the pink shirt)
Flying visit: RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary (pictured arriving in sunglasses yesterday) has been invited to the meetings on a number of occasions in the past
Schmidt also chairs the Pentagon’s new National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence and is attending this year’s Bilderberg summit with former State Department strategist Jared Cohen.
Back in 2010 Schmidt appointed Cohen to run an internal tech think-tank at Google called ‘Google Ideas’, later renamed Jigsaw.
In 2013 they wrote a book together called The New Digital Age, in which they mapped out their vision of a ‘brave new world’ of technology.
Heavyweight Brits in attendance at the elite talks also include the director of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming, and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP.
Mail Online reached out to Mr Tugendhat to clarify if he was attending the elite talks in a private or public capacity, and who would be covering his travel expenses to and from the talks.
He responded: ‘I attend many conferences in both an official and personal capacity,’ but did not elaborate further.
Previous visits to the meeting by British MPs such as Amber Rudd in 2018, and George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2011 and 2014 took place in an official capacity, and transport costs were funded by the UK taxpayer.
Turkish billionaire Ömer Koç, the chairman of Turkey’s largest industrial holding company, goes for stroll in sunny Montreux, flanked by two bodyguards
The boss of controversial tech company Palantir, Alex Karp, arrives at Bilderberg with his yoga mat and a crate of German beer. Karp is on the Bilderberg steering committee, and the board of the Economist Group
Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, pictured with travel companion Bulgarian Ivan Krastev, chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies
Toting a soft leather satchel, the billionaire CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, arrives at his first Bilderberg meeting
Lars Findsen, head of the DDIS, the Danish Defence Intelligence Service, carries his dinner jacket and a kit bag as he enters the Fairmont Montreaux Palace hotel ahead of the meeting
Head of French arms company Thales, Patrice Caine, is given a warm welcome to the Montreux Palace Hotel. The stylish Monsieur Caine is also a director of global beauty brand L’Oréal
Bilderberg group steering committee member Mathias Döpfner, CEO of German media giant Axel Springer, and board member of Netflix and Warner music relaxes outside the hotel before the meeting
The President of the Swiss Federation, Ueli Maurer, arrives for the three day talks in Montreaux by the banks of Lake Geneva
The head of Davos, former Norwegian foreign minister, Børge Brende, the newest member of Bilderberg’s steering committee, drove his own Audi to the conference, where he’ll be discussing ‘Climate Change and Sustainability’
Bård Vegar Solhjell, the CEO of the World Wildlife Fund, heads out for a jog before the elite talks sporting a red running top with grey detailing
They join 130 influential men and women from 23 countries who are gathering for a heavily guarded meeting under strict secrecy rules. Bankers, Prime Ministers, CEOs and defence experts are discussing a wide range of topics including Russia, cyber threats and Brexit.
The public outside the hotel are kept at a distance by police barriers, and gaps in the security screen where cameras might be pointed are hastily covered.
As an indicator of the secrecy surrounding the event, reporters have complained of harassment by the Swiss police.
Josh Friedman, of Cal Coast News, said he had been detained three times so far. He and others were kept in a detention cell at Geneva airport while they took pictures of the Bilderberg delegates arriving.
What will the Bilderberg Group discuss?
The key topics for discussion this year are:
1. A Stable Strategic Order
2. What Next for Europe?
3. Climate Change and Sustainability
6. The Future of Capitalism
8. The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
9. The Weaponisation of Social Media
10. The Importance of Space
11. Cyber Threats
The Bilderberg Group claim that their summits take place without agenda and discussions of topics are informal.
The secretive group claim that no policies are made, no votes are taken and no statements are issued.
‘I was outside the airport on public ground, and the police pounced on me, held me down, searched my bag and ripped my phone out of my hand. I was then held on my own in a cell before I was put in a room with other journalists and kept there for some time before being released.’
Participants have been arriving since Thursday.
Trump has also sent two members of the National Security Council, Matthew Turpin, Director of China and Matthew Pottinger.
The Bilderberg meeting brings together many former senior politicians and diplomats who like Kissinger, director of Kissinger Associates, have jumped headlong into the private sector after leaving office.
The former head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, now sits on the board of oil giant BP.
Fellow spy boss David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA, is now a Wall Street financier at KKR.
And the former president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, is now the chairman of London-based high finance company Goldman Sachs International.
Both Sawers and Barroso, alongside Ryan Air boss Michael O’ Leary, sit on the steering committee of Bilderberg, which is chaired by Henri de Castries, the vice President of Nestle and director of HSBC.
For the last decade, Bilderberg has embraced big tech and welcomed Silicon Valley billionaires into its inner circle.
Anti-Brexit Labour peer Lord Andrew Adonis is pictured on the phone as he goes for a stroll in the grounds of the Montreux Palace Hotel
Marie-Josée Kravis (pictured arriving at the meeting) sits on the board of luxury goods conglomerate LMVH and is on the international advisory board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She is the second wife of the Wall Street billionaire, Henry Kravis
The head of Banco Santander and director of Coca-Cola, the influential businesswoman Ana Botín heads out for a pre-Bilderberg stroll
David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and now a Wall Street financier at KKR, is pictured outside the venue today
Heavy security: Swiss police guard the entrance of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel where this year’s Bilderberg conference takes place
The public outside the hotel are kept at a distance by police barriers, and gaps in the security screen where cameras might be pointed are hastily covered
The group’s steering committee, which organises the conference, includes the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, who chairs the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, and Facebook director Peter Thiel, who is a trusted advisor of Donald Trump.
This year the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, is attending the summit, along with a host of senior AI investors and experts. These include the British entrepreneur Mustafa Suleyman, who co-founded DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company that was bought by Google in 2014.
Google chief Jared Cohen, who heads the Jigsaw subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., is also said to be in attendance.
The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, arrived with Mark Rutte the Dutch Prime Minister on Thursday.
Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, is a repeat visitor to Bilderberg. This year he is said to be discussing ‘The Future of Capitalism’ with the heads of HSBC, Banco Santander, and Goldman Sachs International
Ireland’s Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, is also among the guests, returning to Bilderberg for the second year in a row
A doorman at the Fairmont Montreux Palace Hotel keeps the welcome mat immaculate for the distinguished guests
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, arrives at Bilderberg with his kit bag, ready to take part in the secretive top level talks
His father Prince Bernard of the Netherlands established the conference in 1954, and a member of the Dutch royal family is usually in attendance at the meeting.
The Dutch royal family also have close links with Royal Dutch Shell and the CFO and of the company Jessica Uhl will be meeting with them over the three days at the conference which brings together a variety of corporate, banking and political heavyweights.
Also present at the meeting is the leading figure in the People’s Vote campaign, Labour peer Lord Adonis who is thought to be taking part in the ‘Brexit’ discussion scheduled during the three days of talks. Lord Adonis recently lost his bid to become an MEP for the South West region in the recent elections on May 23rd.
According to the Bilderberg Group, their discussions will be ‘informal’ and without specific agenda, besides their publicised list of broad talking points.
They do not vote, they do not set policy and they do not release statements, the group claim.
How America and Europe’s ‘leading citizens’ gather for a summit so clandestine, no minutes are taken
The Bilderberg Group — so called because it first met in 1954 at the Hotel Bilderberg in the Netherlands — is made up of at least 120 self-proclaimed ‘leading citizens’ of Europe and the U.S., who meet annually to discuss ‘issues of common interest’.
So clandestine are the gatherings that no minutes are taken, no press conferences given and no reports published.
The conference operates under ‘Chatham House Rules’, which means participants can use and report information exchanged there, but not disclose the source.
The luxurious jet-set city of Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva is the site of this year’s Bilderberg summit
But with no record of what goes on, critics have said it should be much more transparent.
Many argue that the event exists solely to serve as a networking and lobbying opportunity for its attendees.
Every summer, figureheads from politics, business, academia, finance and defence lock themselves away in a closely guarded hotel for three days to discuss topics of vital global significance.
Hypothesis and conjecture about the content of their talks inevitably abound.
The roll-call of attendees is invariably auspicious. Prime ministers, royalty — Prince Charles and Prince Philip have both attended — army generals, corporate CEOs and bank governors all make time in their busy schedules to be there.
In addition, they hold talks under Chatham House rules – members can use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of a speaker nor any other participant may be revealed.
News outlets are not invited to the event, though there are journalists attending, including Economist editor Zanny Minton Beddoes and Bloomberg editor John Micklethwait.
The meeting attracts protesters and many conspiracy theorists have ideas about how the Bilderberg Group control the world.
In recent annual meetings security has soared to tens of millions in ensuring the safety of the dignitaries.
Some have made wild claims that the group serves as a front for the Illuminati, a secret and sinister order founded in 18th century Bavaria.
In 2018, the Daily Mail were able to embed an investigative reporter as a waitress at the unassuming four-star hotel in Turin, northern Italy, for their conference.
Security was tight around the perimeter with military police and sniffer dogs checking for explosives, while powerful attendees quaffed champagne and ate canapes.
The ‘waitress’ was told not to engage with guests and to ‘look down’.
But she was able to glean the guests were provided yellow paper score cards on which they must give TripAdvisor-style self-evaluation assessments of talks.
On each form delegates must rate discussions on a scale of one to five including ‘importance of topic’, ‘quality of panellist’, ‘interaction’ and so on.
Journalist Jon Ronson wrote a book about the Bilderberg Group, called Them, and the late Labour MP Denis Healey, who co-founded the group, told him: ‘Bilderberg is the most useful international group I ever attended. The confidentiality enabled people to speak honestly without fear of repercussions.’
Ever since its formation in 1954 – at the Hotel Bilderberg in the Netherlands – the talks have been shrouded in mystery because no minutes are kept of what was discussed.
Prince Bernhard, of the Netherlands, who co-founded the group said it was so ‘that severe economic dips like the Great Depressions could be avoided if responsible and influential leaders could manage world events behind their necessary public posturing’.
The idea was for a big talking shop attended by the great and the good where the mistakes of the past could be learned and the problems of the future avoided.
Bilderberg Group 2019:
Castries, Henri de (FRA), Chairman, Steering Committee; Chairman, Institut Montaigne
Kravis, Marie-Josée (USA), President, American Friends of Bilderberg Inc.; Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Halberstadt, Victor (NLD), Chairman Foundation Bilderberg Meetings; Professor of Economics, Leiden University
Achleitner, Paul M. (DEU), Treasurer Foundation Bilderberg Meetings; Chairman Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
Abrams, Stacey (USA), Founder and Chair, Fair Fight
Adonis, Andrew (GBR), Member, House of Lords
Albers, Isabel (BEL), Editorial Director, De Tijd / L’Echo
Altman, Roger C. (USA), Founder and Senior Chairman, Evercore
Arbour, Louise (CAN), Senior Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Arrimadas, Inés (ESP), Party Leader, Ciudadanos
Azoulay, Audrey (INT), Director-General, UNESCO
Baker, James H. (USA), Director, Office of Net Assessment, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Balta, Evren (TUR), Associate Professor of Political Science, Özyegin University
Barbizet, Patricia (FRA), Chairwoman and CEO, Temaris & Associés
Barbot, Estela (PRT), Member of the Board and Audit Committee, REN (Redes Energéticas Nacionais)
Barroso, José Manuel (PRT), Chairman, Goldman Sachs International; Former President, European Commission
Barton, Dominic (CAN), Senior Partner and former Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company
Beaune, Clément (FRA), Adviser Europe and G20, Office of the President of the Republic of France
Boos, Hans-Christian (DEU), CEO and Founder, Arago GmbH
Bostrom, Nick (UK), Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University
Botín, Ana P. (ESP), Group Executive Chair, Banco Santander
Brandtzæg, Svein Richard (NOR), Chairman, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Brende, Børge (NOR), President, World Economic Forum
Buberl, Thomas (FRA), CEO, AXABuitenweg, Kathalijne (NLD), MP, Green Party
Caine, Patrice (FRA), Chairman and CEO, Thales Group
Carney, Mark J. (GBR), Governor, Bank of England
Casado, Pablo (ESP), President, Partido Popular
Ceviköz, Ahmet Ünal (TUR), MP, Republican People’s Party (CHP)
Champagne, François Philippe (CAN), Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Cohen, Jared (USA), Founder and CEO, Jigsaw, Alphabet Inc.
Croiset van Uchelen, Arnold (NLD), Partner, Allen & Overy LLP
Daniels, Matthew (USA), New space and technology projects, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Davignon, Etienne (BEL), Minister of State
Demiralp, Selva (TUR), Professor of Economics, Koç University
Donohoe, Paschal (IRL), Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform
Döpfner, Mathias (DEU), Chairman and CEO, Axel Springer SE
Ellis, James O. (USA), Chairman, Users’ Advisory Group, National Space Council
Feltri, Stefano (ITA), Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Il Fatto Quotidiano
Ferguson, Niall (USA), Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Findsen, Lars (DNK), Director, Danish Defence Intelligence Service
Fleming, Jeremy (GBR), Director, British Government Communications Headquarters
Garton Ash, Timothy (GBR), Professor of European Studies, Oxford University
Gnodde, Richard J. (IRL), CEO, Goldman Sachs International
Godement, François (FRA), Senior Adviser for Asia, Institut Montaigne
Grant, Adam M. (USA), Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Gruber, Lilli (ITA), Editor-in-Chief and Anchor ‘Otto e mezzo’, La7 TV
Hanappi-Egger, Edeltraud (AUT), Rector, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Hedegaard, Connie (DNK), Chair, KR Foundation; Former European Commissioner
Henry, Mary Kay (USA), International President, Service Employees International Union
Hirayama, Martina (CHE), State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation
Hobson, Mellody (USA), President, Ariel Investments LLC
Hoffman, Reid (USA), Co-Founder, LinkedIn; Partner, Greylock Partners
Hoffmann, André (CHE), Vice-Chairman, Roche Holding Ltd.
Jordan, Jr., Vernon E. (USA), Senior Managing Director, Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
Jost, Sonja (DEU), CEO, DexLeChem
Kaag, Sigrid (NLD), Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Karp, Alex (USA), CEO, Palantir Technologies
Kerameus, Niki K. (GRC), MP; Partner, Kerameus & Partners
Kissinger, Henry A. (USA), Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc.
Koç, Ömer (TUR), Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
Kotkin, Stephen (USA), Professor in History and International Affairs, Princeton University
Kramp-Karrenbauer, Annegret (DEU), Leader, CDU
Krastev, Ivan (BUL), Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies
Kravis, Henry R. (USA), Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Kristersson, Ulf (SWE), Leader of the Moderate Party
Kudelski, André (CHE), Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
Kushner, Jared (USA), Senior Advisor to the President, The White House
Le Maire, Bruno (FRA), Minister of Finance
Leyen, Ursula von der (DEU), Federal Minster of Defence
Leysen, Thomas (BEL), Chairman, KBC Group and Umicore
Liikanen, Erkki (FIN), Chairman, IFRS Trustees; Helsinki Graduate School of Economics
Lund, Helge (GBR), Chairman, BP plc; Chairman, Novo Nordisk AS
Maurer, Ueli (CHE), President of the Swiss Federation and Federal Councillor of Finance
Mazur, Sara (SWE), Director, Investor AB
McArdle, Megan (USA), Columnist, The Washington Post
McCaskill, Claire (USA), Former Senator; Analyst, NBC News
Medina, Fernando (PRT), Mayor of Lisbon
Micklethwait, John (USA), Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg LP
Minton Beddoes, Zanny (GBR), Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
Monzón, Javier (ESP), Chairman, PRISA
Mundie, Craig J. (USA), President, Mundie & Associates
Nadella, Satya (USA), CEO, Microsoft
Netherlands, His Majesty the King of the (NLD)
Nora, Dominique (FRA), Managing Editor, L’Obs
O’Leary, Michael (IRL), CEO, Ryanair D.A.C.
Pagoulatos, George (GRC), Vice-President of ELIAMEP, Professor; Athens University of Economics
Papalexopoulos, Dimitri (GRC), CEO, TITAN Cement Company S.A.
Petraeus, David H. (USA), Chairman, KKR Global Institute
Pienkowska, Jolanta (POL), Anchor woman, journalist
Pottinger, Matthew (USA), Senior Director, National Security Council
Pouyanné, Patrick (FRA), Chairman and CEO, Total S.A.
Ratas, Jüri (EST), Prime Minister
Renzi, Matteo (ITA), Former Prime Minister; Senator, Senate of the Italian Republic
Rockström, Johan (SWE), Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Rubin, Robert E. (USA), Co-Chairman Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Treasury Secretary
Rutte, Mark (NLD), Prime Minister
Sabia, Michael (CAN), President and CEO, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Sanger, David E. (USA), National Security Correspondent, The New York Times
Sarts, Janis (INT), Director, NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence
Sawers, John (GBR), Executive Chairman, Newbridge Advisory
Schadlow, Nadia (USA), Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Schmidt, Eric E. (USA), Technical Advisor, Alphabet Inc.
Scholten, Rudolf (AUT), President, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue
Seres, Silvija (NOR), Independent Investor
Shafik, Minouche (GBR), Director, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Sikorski, Radoslaw (POL), MP, European Parliament
Singer, Peter Warren (USA), Strategist, New America
Sitti, Metin (TUR), Professor, Koç University; Director, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Snyder, Timothy (USA), Richard C. Levin Professor of History, Yale University
Solhjell, Bård Vegar (NOR), CEO, WWF – Norway
Stoltenberg, Jens (INT), Secretary General, NATO
Suleyman, Mustafa (GBR), Co-Founder, Deepmind
Supino, Pietro (CHE), Publisher and Chairman, Tamedia Group
Teuteberg, Linda (DEU), General Secretary, Free Democratic Party
Thiam, Tidjane (CHE), CEO, Credit Suisse Group AG
Thiel, Peter (USA), President, Thiel Capital
Trzaskowski, Rafal (POL), Mayor of Warsaw
Tucker, Mark (GBR), Group Chairman, HSBC Holding plc
Tugendhat, Tom (GBR), MP, Conservative Party
Turpin, Matthew (USA), Director for China, National Security Council
Uhl, Jessica (NLD), CFO and Financial Director, Royal Dutch Shell plc
Vestergaard Knudsen, Ulrik (DNK), Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Walker, Darren (USA), President, Ford Foundation
Wallenberg, Marcus (SWE), Chairman, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
Wolf, Martin H. (GBR), Chief Economics Commentator, Financial Times
Zeiler, Gerhard (AUT), Chief Revenue Officer, WarnerMedia
Zetsche, Dieter (DEU), Former Chairman, Daimler AG