Microsoft founder Bill Gates, known almost as much for his philanthropy as his outsized presence in the world of technology, is set to meet with President Donald Trump Thursday afternoon.
Gates reportedly said yesterday that he is not a fan of the president’s “America first” rhetoric, insisting that America’s generosity of spirit is a part of what makes her great.
“Yeah, I don’t agree with the American first rhetoric. That is, I think the alliances that we’ve built over time and the help we’ve provided to countries uplifting them … have made the world a more stable, a richer place,” Gates said in an interview with POLITICO Playbook authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman.
“I’ll take his framework and explain why things like health security and continued foreign aid, even in that narrow framework, where you give no credit for saving lives in Africa, kind of pure humanitarian things, even without that, this is money well spent,” he added later.
Gates is set to address part of the Trump agenda, which seeks to cut foreign aid.
Gates, who along with his wife has given away $28 billion through the foundation they oversee, rejected the notion that the Trump administration’s reduction in foreign aid might spur other nations to do more, remarking that “it’s hard for me to understand the notion that helping people that are poorer than we are is a bad thing. It’s kind of in the Bible.”
Gates told POLITCO he expects to attempt to convince Trump that the tiny amount of foreign aid contained within the federal budget — less than 1% — is crucial in helping the world view the United States with a healthy eye, and is also necessary to ensure the world is prepared for pandemic should one occur.