Bill Gates says Trump reminds him of JFK, practicing ‘American leadership through innovation’

Bill Gates made the pilgrimage to Trump Tower on Tuesday and emerged a believer in President-elect Donald Trump.

The Microsoft founder even compared the billionaire businessman-turned politician to another figure who forever changed politics – John F. Kennedy.

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In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Gates talked about a phone conversation with the president-elect on the topic of “innovation.”

“In the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that,” Gates said, “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 be one of the things that he gets behind.”

“Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation.”

According to Gates, although they have friends in common this is actually the first time the two men have spoken.

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The Microsoft founder did have a few words of caution for Trump on a potential trade war with China. “I feel sure that he and the team he brings in around [him], even as they tune things, they won’t want the ‘lose-lose’ that you would get if you start to get large tariff walls,” Gates said, adding. “The president-elect is very sophisticated. I hope he’s thought through how he’s going to get some adjustment there [in China] without that typical sort of tariff tit for tat.”

Watch the entire interview below:

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Scott Morefield

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