One of the most explosive revelations from the Wikileaks releases on Hillary Clinton was the details of her close connections with Google. In fact, this is more than just a connection, the emails detailed a proposal from former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, in which he proposes a financial donation of $1.5 billion for the Clinton campaign.
In a series of emails published by Wikileaks, John Podesta told Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook that “I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. He’s ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn’t pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn’t seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going. He’s still in DC tomorrow and would like to meet with you if you are in DC in the afternoon. I think it’s worth doing.”
When the two parties began talking, a massive donation was not expected, but instead, the company was going to help with the campaign’s technology and online infrastructure.
“The thing he really pressed me hard on was geography. Very committed to the idea that this be done in a city where young coders would want to be, preferably outer borough NYC. Thought No Cal was priced out of the market and too into itself. Thought DC lacked talent in this arena,” Podesta wrote after his meeting with Eric Schmidt.
Clinton and Schmidt at a 2014 Google event just days after the Groundwork was incorporated. / Photo Credit: Quartz
Then after that first meeting, Schmidt made his massive offer.
“Let’s assume a total budget of about $1.5Billion, with more than 5000 paid employees and million(s) of volunteers. The entire startup ceases operation four days after November 8, 2016,” Schmidt wrote in another email to Podesta.
This massive donation was never officially made on the books, but it could have very well been made behind the scenes. Either way, after this email exchange, Schmidt began to use his influence in Silicon Valley to help the Clinton campaign.
Wikileaks Podesta Emails
“Key is the development of a single record for a voter that aggregates all that is known about them. In 2016 smart phones will be used to identify, meet, and update profiles on the voter….[q]uite a bit of software is to be developed to match digital identities with the actual voter file with high confidence. Its important that all the player in the campaign work at cost and there be no special interests in the financing structure,” Schmidt wrote, proposing audits to ensure no one was earning money on the sly. “The rules of the audit should include caps on individual salaries and no investor profits from the campaign function. (For example, this rule would apply to me.)” Schmidt said in one of his emails.
Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and current chair of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, touched on many issues during his visit to MIT, including self-driving cars, the state of computer science research, and artificial intelligence in health care. / Photo Credit: Jason Dorfman/MIT CSAIL
In the discussions between Schmidt and the Clinton campaign, he requested a meeting with former president Bill Clinton.
Google executives were very displeased by the results of the election, knowing that they had placed their bet on the losing team.
Last year, a video was leaked showing Google executives expressing their disappointment and disgust with the results of the election.
Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and now president of parent company Alphabet said in the video that, “As an immigrant, a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive, and I know many of you do too.”
He said that the election results show that “so many people apparently don’t share many of the values that we have.”
Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said that the election was a “massive kick in the gut.” She said that if Clinton was elected, she would be able to “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.”
It is likely that Google was expecting Clinton to win, which would give them access to the White House, since their contribution would have guaranteed the support of the administration.
© AnonLAB 2019