Billionaire Bill Gates says that President-elect Donald Trump could, like JFK, establish "American leadership through innovation.”

Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week, Gates said: "A lot of his message has been about ... where he sees things not as good as he'd like.”

"But in the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that," the Microsoft co-founder continued, "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."

Gates said he recently talked to Trump over the phone, and during the eight-minute call the two wealthy men discussed the power of innovation.

“The key point I was pushing there was the opportunity for innovation in not only energy but also medicine and education and encouraging the idea that that’s a great deal and a great thing for American leadership,”  said Gates.

"Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I'm sure there will be further conversation."

When asked if the telephone call made him optimistic, Gates said, “Well, we’ll see. Innovations could be bipartisan. We should all do our best.”

He added that it was the first time he had ever spoken with Trump, even though they have mutual friends. The Microsoft co-founder was photographed meeting Trump at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, shortly after the President-elect met with rapper Kanye West.

Gates has previously hinted that he was supporting Hillary Clinton, before the election, but said his charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, would “approach any administration with a positive open mind.”

He did donate to three Democratic congressmen earlier this year. He has, however, previously donated to Republican politicians.

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Jackie and John F. Kennedy.