Apple CEO Tim Cook and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, two of the biggest names in the tech industry, were part of a list of potential running mates for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
The list was obtained from leaked emails that allegedly came from John Podesta, Clinton's campaign manager. The email was uploaded by WikiLeaks, which started leaking thousands of emails that are said to have come from Podesta in early October, with more to come until Election Day arrives.
"I did a first cut of people worth considering. They are organized in rough food groups," Podesta wrote in the alleged leaked email.
Among the 39 prominent names in the list are Tim Kaine, the man who is running for vice president alongside Clinton, and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who Clinton beat in securing the presidential nomination from the Democratic Party.
Also found on the list are Melinda Gates, the wife of Bill Gates and co-chairwoman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
The rest of the list is made up of well-known individuals, including politicians, philanthropists and business executives. The list of names is believed to be the first draft of possible people to run for vice president alongside Clinton, with Clinton being asked in the email to add or remove people on the list before her campaign team started to vet the possible running mates.
If the leaked email is authentic, it shows that the Clinton campaign was at the very least considering to break the tradition of tapping a fellow politician as a running mate. Usually, the vice presidential candidate is chosen due to his influence on a critical state or because he has something important to add to the presidential campaign.
The leaked emails do not reveal if Cook, Gates and the other businesspeople were able to make the shortlist of candidates for Clinton's running mate. It seems that more information regarding the Clinton campaign will be known over the coming days though, with the continued leaks to be uploaded.
The initiative by WikiLeaks to upload leaked emails from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee started on Oct. 4. According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the leaked information marks the 10th anniversary of the website.
The hashtag #FreeAssange started trending recently, as the government of Ecuador decided to deny Assange Internet access. The move has sparked interest in the leaked emails from Podesta, which exposes controversial issues surrounding the Clinton campaign.