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Hacked emails show Tim Cook, Bill Gates considered for VP

The claim is part of WikiLeaks' continued release of emails it says came from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

Tim Cook an early consideration for the White House?

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's potential picks for vice president may have included two of the biggest names in tech: Tim Cook and Bill Gates.

The anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks released a March email it claims came from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta that ticked off 39 potential running mates for the presidential candidate, CBS News reported Tuesday. That early list included Cook and Gates, as well as Gates' wife Melinda, who is co-chairwoman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the run-up to the November 8 presidential election, WikiLeaks has been releasing batches of emails it claims it obtained through a hack of Podesta's personal email account. The Russian government has been blamed for this and other hacks, which US officials say is an attempt by Russia to tilt the election in Republican candidate Donald Trump's favor.

The Clinton campaign has avoided confirming or denying whether the emails from WikiLeaks are real.

The Gates Foundation didn't respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Apple declined to comment.

CNET couldn't independently verify the information in the emails, and it could be entirely possible that someone altered those emails before they were publicly released.

"Donald Trump is cheering on a Russian attempt to influence our election through a crime reminiscent of Watergate but on a more massive scale," Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said in an emailed statement Tuesday. "We're witnessing another effort to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election. Only this time, instead of filing cabinets, it's people's emails they're breaking into and a foreign government is behind it."

Clinton chose Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate in July.