Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, recommended staffers for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to add to his campaign, Bloomberg reports.
Emails obtained by the outlet show that Zuckerberg and Chan sent Buttigieg’s campaign staff recommendations earlier this year.
Two people recommended by the couple now work for the mayor’s presidential campaign. One staffer, Eric Mayefsky, previously worked for Quora, a startup founded by former Facebook employees. The other, Nina Wornhoff, worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg and Buttigieg "overlapped at Harvard, and Buttigieg was friends with two of Zuckerberg’s roommates. He was also one of Facebook’s first 300 users. But they were only introduced years later by a mutual Harvard friend."
Zuckerberg denies he supports Buttigieg for president:
Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Zuckerberg, told Bloomberg that "Mark and Priscilla have not decided who to support for president.”
LaBolt told the outlet that Zuckerberg sent the recommendations at the request of the people he recommended Buttigieg hire.
"Since the beginning of the campaign, we've built a top-tier operation with more than 430 staff in South Bend and around the country,” Buttigieg’s campaign said in a statement. “The staffers come from all types of background, and everyone is working hard every day to elect Pete to the White House."
Facebook faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers:
Zuckerberg’s outreach to Buttigieg’s campaign comes as his company faces mounting scrutiny from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic contender, has threatened to break up the company and other technology giants, while conservatives have accused Zuckerberg of censoring right-wing voices,” CNBC reported. “Facebook has been accused of providing a platform for disinformation during the last presidential election, and has been criticized for refusing to remove ads for President Donald Trump’s reelection that include false information. The company has said it is taking measures to respond to the criticism. Zuckerberg is expected to testify on Wednesday to House lawmakers about Facebook’s impact on the financial services and housing sectors.”