Google's Eric Schmidt Wore 'Staff' Badge at Hillary Clinton Election Night Party

Hacked memo revealed Schmidt was working directly with the Clinton campaign

Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt / AP
November 16, 2016

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet, Inc., was spotted at Hillary Clinton's "victory" party last Tuesday wearing a staff badge, according to a picture recently submitted to Politico.

Google came under fire earlier this year for allegedly altering search results to paint Hillary Clinton in a more favorable light than Donald Trump. Schmidt stated at the time that Google did not pick sides in the presidential race.

"We have not taken a position on the American election and nor do I expect us to," Schmidt said at the time.

Despite this assurance, Schmidt provided funding to a tech startup called The Groundwork, one of the Clinton campaign's biggest vendors.

Michael Slaby, the Obama campaign's chief integration and innovation officer, developed The Groundwork through a company he co-founded called Timshel. The Clinton campaign paid the group $600,000 throughout the election cycle.

Following WikiLeaks' release of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign, the Washington Free Beacon discovered that Schmidt was doing more than funding a Clinton campaign vendor—he was working with the campaign on its technology strategy.

The revelation was contained in a memo sent by Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, to Cheryl Mills, David Plouffe, and John Podesta on Oct. 26, 2014. The memo's author was Teddy Goff, Clinton's former chief digital strategist. It was addressed to Clinton.

Goff elaborated on the campaign's early "priorities," as well as developments about those priorities. Several times it mentioned the work that "Eric Schmidt's group" and "team" were doing for the campaign.

"I have been kept apprised of the work being done by Eric Schmidt's group and others working directly and indirectly with your team. On the whole, I am comfortable with where we stand and confident in our roadmap to launch day and beyond," Goff wrote at one point.

Goff boasted about the work Schmidt was doing, saying it would easily eclipse the technology operation of any Clinton opponent.

"Eric's team is also developing products that are not, strictly speaking, critical for launch, but would be extremely useful to have as early in the cycle as possible," Goff wrote.

While the memo did not state the name of Schmidt's group, it was likely referring to The Groundwork.

WikiLeaks, which posted the hacked email, has been accused of working with the Russian government to influence the presidential election.

Schmidt did not return requests for comments on his involvement with the Clinton campaign.

Published under: Hillary Clinton