Bill Gates and Tim Cook were both on a list of possible candidates to run as vice president on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The former CEO of Microsoft and the current CEO of Apple were among numerous other politicians and business people that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, floated in an email to Clinton in March. The email was released on Tuesday as part of the WikiLeaks documents that intelligence officials believe were acquired by Russian hackers.
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, was also on the list, as was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, GM CEO Mary Barra and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns.
A variety of Democratic heavyweights are on the list, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Deval Patrick, Corey Booker, Michael Bloomberg and the eventual candidate Tim Kaine.
James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral, is not on the list, but did end up getting vetted by Clinton’s campaign.
The email from Podesta came two days after Clinton won four major Democratic primaries, important wins after Bernie Sanders posted a surprise victory in Michigan. The wins were a major turning point that seemed to be reflected in the tone of Podesta’s email.
“Ok, I can breathe again! Congrats on a fabulous night,” Podesta wrote in the email. “I am feeling like it’s possible to get back to the longer term again.”
Podesta then talks about finding lawyers to vet candidates, a process that combs through the past of potential running mates to make sure there are no surprises. Podesta notes that the list was created by numerous people on Clinton’s staff, including longtime aide Huma Abedin.
The major business figures are relatively far down the list, which Podesta said had been organized into groups. Sanders, who Clinton bested in a Democratic primary that turned more bitter than had been expected, is in his own group at the very end of the email.