Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, wanted to be “head outside advisor” to the Hillary Clinton campaign, according to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in an email released by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has continued to reveal Schmidt’s cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign. In a previously leaked email, a memo showed that Schmidt was working directly with the Clinton campaign on setting up various backend features to their website.
In an April 2014 email from Podesta to Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook discussing the launch of Hillary’s campaign, Podesta described how much Schmidt wanted to work with the campaign.
“I met with Eric Schmidt tonight. As David reported, 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,” Podesta wrote. He added, “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. You around? If you are, and want to meet with him, maybe the four of us can get on the phone iN the am.”
Cheryl Mills was copied on the email and let Podesta know that Mook wouldn’t be able to make the call that day because he was in Australia. Mook said that she was correct but would love to talk to Schmidt eventually.
Podesta wrote back: “The thing [Schmidt] 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.”
The Clinton campaign ended up putting their headquarters in Brooklyn, an outer borough.
In another email released Sunday by WikiLeaks, Tina Flourney, Bill Clinton’s personal chief of staff, said in February 2015 that Schmidt asked to meet with President Clinton and that they would do so on that Friday.
Flourney later wrote in the email chain, “it is about the business he proposes to do with the campaign. He says he’s met with [Hillary Clinton].”
Podesta responded, “Yup. I’ve talked to him too. Robby is in touch with his team. I see no harm in [Bill Clinton] seeing him.” Flourney replied, “FYI. They are donating the Google plane for the Africa trip.”
Google has not responded to questions about Schmidt’s role with the Clinton campaign.