Technology

Facebook COO Shared Research With Clinton Campaign: Leaked Emails

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg could end up in hot water as some of the newly released emails show that she shared research with key members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Sandberg has endorsed Clinton, and according to a Politico report released last month, Clinton may tap Sandberg for Treasury Secretary if elected.

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Research not related to Facebook

A meeting was scheduled by Clinton aide Cheryl Mills in March 2015 so that Sandberg could share research with members of Clinton’s inner circle, which included Joel Benenson and John Podesta, reports The Daily Caller. These two are Clinton’s chief campaign strategist and campaign manager, respectively.

The meeting took place a month before Clinton made a formal announcement regarding her candidacy for president. At the meeting, Sandberg allegedly shared research on “gender and leadership by women.” It cannot be said for certain from the emails if the research in question was done by Facebook or if it was her own personal research.

However, a Facebook official said the research that Sandberg shared with the Clinton campaign came from her personal work and was not related to her work at Facebook, according to The Daily Caller.

What do the leaked emails say?

According to the emails, Mills wrote to Benenson in February 2015, “I have arranged for *Sheryl Sandberg and her researcher to be available on 5 March at 10 am to step through the research on gender and leadership by women*. The HRC meeting begins at 11 am. Are you available then for such a meeting? If so, who else should be included?”

To this, Benenson reportedly replied, “Yes. I can do it. I would also like to bring Katie Connolly, the VP who is working with me on all HRC work if that’s OK.”

These emails are among the thousands of messages that were stole from Podesta’s personal email account and later published by Wikileaks.

Following this, Mills sent an email to Podesta, Benenson and other important people, such as Kristina Schake, detailing the logistics of the meeting, notes The Daily Caller. Schake is now the deputy communications director for the Clinton campaign.

Will Sandberg return to politics?

A report last month gave rise to speculations about whether the Facebook COO will reenter politics if presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins the race. Before joining Google in 2001, Sandberg served as chief of staff for former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. However, she has been repeatedly refuting the rumors that she will return to politics.

“I don’t want to run for office. I don’t want another job. I love Facebook,” Sandberg said during Recode’s conference this year.

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