Billionaire Bill Gates compared President-elect Donald Trump to John F. Kennedy during an interview with CNBC.
Trump has a chance to establish "American leadership through innovation," Gates said on "Squawk Box" on Nov. 13.
"A lot of his message has been about ... where he sees things not as good as he'd like," said Gates. "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 organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation."
The Microsoft co-founder said he spoke with Trump on the phone and conversed about the power of innovation, clean energy, medicine, education and climate change, according to Business Insider.
"Of course, my whole career has been along those lines,” Gates said on the topic of innovation, CNBC reports. "GAnd he was interested in listening to that. And I'm sure there will be further conversation."
On Dec. 11, Gates initiated a billion-dollar enterprise to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions, which was discussed with Trump in their recent talk.
Gates, crowned the richest person in the world by Forbes, said he thought there was "a lot of fascination" in identifying which "new directions" Trump would take the country in, according to Business Insider.
Although it was the first time Gates has spoken to Trump, he said they both had mutual friends.
Gates remarked that Trump did not win "so much for specific policies," but because voters wanted "the kind of leadership" he presented.
"So he has a lot of flexibility on which issues he really goes after," Gates said. "And so that's why I think a dialogue now, you know, what are the positive things for America that he's thinking and who can help out with that?"
But when it came to China, Gates disagreed with Trump’s stance, telling CNBC he didn’t think "it'd be a good deal" to have U.S.-China trade relations "really fall apart."
"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, you know. I hope he's thought through how he's going to get some adjustments there without that typical sort of tariff tit-for-tat."