Bill Gates, the on-and-off-again richest person in the world, compared President-elect Donald Trump to former President John F. Kennedy.
“But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that, I think whether it’s education or stopping epidemics … [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump’s] administration [is] going to organizing things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation,” the Microsoft founder told CNBC.
Gates, 61, said he’s never met with Trump but said he recently spoke with him over the phone, adding he hopes to contact him again in the future. He said it was the first time he spoke with Trump, although the two have mutual friends.
“Of course, my whole career has been along those lines,” Gates said, referring to innovation. “And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation.”
Gates criticized him in the past, saying he’s not “known for philanthropy.” However, he later said he’d like to have a good relationship with either Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton, Politico reported at the time.
Another billionaire, Warren Buffett, a close friend of Gates, also criticized Trump during the election, while actively campaigning against him. He called on Trump to publicly release his tax returns.
As of the latest Forbes Magazine update, Gates is currently listed as the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $84.1 billion. He recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.