- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump has an opportunity to foster “American leadership through innovation” much like President John F. Kennedy.

Mr. Gates told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he recently pitched energy innovation during a phone call with Mr. Trump, who appeared receptive to his ideas.

“I had an opportunity to talk to him about innovation,” Mr. Gates said. “And a lot of his message has been about things where he sees things not as good as he’d like.”

“But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that — I think that whether it’s education or stopping epidemics, other health breakthroughs, finishing Polio, and in this energy space — there can be a very upbeat message that his administration is going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation,” he said.

Mr. Gates said the incoming president was “interested in listening to that” during their phone call.

“And I’m sure there will be further conversation,” he said.

Mr. Gates announced Monday the start of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion clean energy fund, which he plans to chair, CNBC reported. He said Tuesday that he’s prepared to lobby Mr. Trump on making sure America is the world’s leader on clean energy technology.

“This administration likes a good deal,” Mr. Gates told CNBC. “It’s not a huge part of the budget and yet it can help the economy just like shale gas has.”

Mr. Trump’s transition spokesman Jason Miller said Tuesday that the president-elect will meet with Mr. Gates at Trump Tower in New York City, The Hill reported.

Mr. Miller didn’t reveal when the meeting would take place or what the two would discuss, but he said Mr. Gates “had good things to say about Trump and innovation” during his CNBC interview.

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