Bill Gates, Tim Cook, Bernie Sanders Hacked Hillary Clinton emails reveal ‘rough food groups’ of VP choices

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WASHINGTON – Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates made the list. So did Apple chief executive Tim Cook. They were among nearly 40 elected officials, military leaders and corporate CEOs that Hillary Clinton‘s campaign considered for vice-president last spring. The list was included among hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman disclosed Tuesday by WikiLeaks.

The list emailed from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to Hillary Clinton last March included several Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tim Kaine of Virginia, who was eventually picked by Clinton.

Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton’s opponent in the hotly contested Democratic primary, also made the list – at the very bottom.

Podesta organized the list into “rough food groups” including blacks, women and Hispanics such as Obama administration Cabinet members Julian Castro of Housing and Urban Development and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

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African-Americans who made the list included Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Besides Warren, women on the list of possibilities included Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who is openly gay.

Another group of possibilities that appeared to represent “outside-the-box” options included former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tim Cook of Apple, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Howard Schultz of Starbucks and retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen.

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Months before clinching the nomination, Clinton shared an email exchange with campaign manager Robby Mook in which the two complained that then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had hired an executive to run the Democratic National Convention without consulting the Clinton campaign or apparently the White House. Mook said the campaign had advised Wasserman Schultz that “that we expected to be consulted – and I was under the impression they would.”

Clinton suggested it was “too late” to do anything about the hiring. “We can’t be seen as trying to reverse this,” she wrote to Mook on March 27. She did not secure the Democratic nomination until June.

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Previously hacked and released DNC documents revealed unflattering staff emails about the primary between Clinton and Sanders and led to Wasserman Schultz’s resignation just before the Democratic National Convention in late July.

And in an email dating to early 2008, after Clinton was dealt a big loss in the Iowa caucuses, Podesta and Democratic consultant Paul Begala lamented the Clinton campaign’s lousy performance.

“I know the fish rots from the head, but I really feel sorry for her,” Podesta wrote. “This definitely could have been won.” Podesta sat out the 2008 campaign but ran then-Sen. Barack Obama’s transition team.

The exchange, however, came on the day Clinton rebounded in the New Hampshire primary and the battle with rival candidate Obama went on for several months.