Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter continues to take twists and turns, the latest being a potential national security angle.
Asked Wednesday whether Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter CEO Elon Musk posed a national security threat, President Joe Biden said the billionaire’s “relationships with other countries are worth looking into,” CNBC reported. .
It comes after a chaotic couple of weeks in charge of Twitter, after Musk dissolved the board of directors, firing most of the company’s top managers, along with an exodus of executives from the platform.
Musk has also laid off at least half of the platform’s 7,000 employees, which saw Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (who backed the Musk acquisition) this week apologize to staff, saying he believed he had expanded the 16-year-old social media platform too fast. .
Musk hasn’t provided much reassurance either: tweeting that “Twitter will do a lot of stupid things in the coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t.”
Now this week, at a White House press conference on Wednesday, the US president was specifically asked: “Do you think Elon Musk is a threat to the national security of the US and should the US, with the tools it has, investigate their joint takeover of Twitter? with foreign governments, which include the Saudis?”
“Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth looking at,” President Biden responded. “Whether he’s doing something inappropriate or not, I’m not suggesting that. I am suggesting that it is worth looking at and that is all I will say.”
It is known that Elon Musk is not a fan of President Biden and recently criticized the Democrats and stated that it would be better if the Democrats did not control the Senate and the House of Representatives.
However, he recently tweeted that his party affiliation was independent and that until this year he had voted Democrat in the past.
And I am open to the idea of voting Democratic again in the future.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
Saudi Arabia, Russia, China
President Biden’s comments about Elon Musk reflect concern in certain US political circles about his relations with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and even China, which is one of Tesla’s most important markets and where the electric vehicle maker also has a huge factory.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is not a fan of Musk by any means, had previously suggested that if Musk brought Twitter, he might face censorship pressure from Beijing.
Musk has also not helped in his case.
In an interview with the Financial Times published in October, Musk suggested that one way to resolve China-Taiwan tensions might be to “find out a reasonably acceptable special administrative zone for Taiwan,” though he acknowledged that this “probably won’t make everyone glad”.
In August, a former Twitter executive was found guilty in a San Francisco court of spying for Saudi Arabia and accessing account data.
One of Twitter’s major shareholders, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, had previously rejected Elon Musk’s $54.20 offer, saying it did not offer “intrinsic value to @Twitter given its growth prospects.”
The prince has a long-term stake in Twitter through his investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, which owns 5.2 percent of Twitter.
Musk responded to the Prince’s concerns via Twitter at the time.