Biden Says The U.S. Should Review Elon Musk’s Relationships With Foreign Governments
U.S. President Joe Biden urged that his administration could look into Elon Musk’s enterprise and technical relationships with international governments, together with Saudi Arabia, which grew to become a significant investor within the tech billionaire’s $44 billion buy of Twitter.
Biden, who met with reporters on the White Home on Wednesday to debate this week’s midterm elections and international coverage points, was requested by Bloomberg’s Jenny Leonard whether or not the billionaire CEO who runs Tesla, SpaceX and now Twitter, is a possible nationwide safety risk. Moreover, she additionally requested if Musk’s acquisition of Twitter with cash from the Saudis and different international governments must be investigated.
“I feel that Elon Musk’s cooperation and or technical relationships with different nations is worthy of being checked out,” Biden stated. “Whether or not or not he’s doing something inappropriate, I am not suggesting that. I am suggesting that it’s price being checked out. And that is all I am going to say.”
His feedback aren’t probably to enhance frosty relations between Biden and the world’s wealthiest man, who has mocked the president’s age and final yr known as him a “damp sock puppet in human kind.” Musk appeared particularly incensed final yr that the Biden Administration ignored Tesla’s achievements within the electrical car market and as a substitute heaped reward on efforts by Normal Motors and Ford to construct up their very own EV companies.
Musk didn’t reply to a request for remark and didn’t instantly reference the remarks in a tweet.
Biden is just not alone in his concern about a few of Musk’s worldwide ties. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, no bastion of liberal democratic values, backed Musk’s buy with $1.9 billion and is Twitter’s second-largest investor (after investing in Twitter in 2011, Prince Alwaleed already owned a bit of the corporate, and determined to roll over his funding). Equally, the Qatar Funding Fund additionally put in $375 million. Investments by these Center Jap pursuits sparked nationwide safety considerations for presidency officers, together with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who called for a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment within the U.S. (or CFIUS).
Except for Twitter, Musk’s different enterprise pursuits could also be creating different considerations. SpaceX has helped Ukraine after Russia attacked it by supplying vital Starlink satellite-based web service for a number of months, although Musk has debated ending that help after he stated the corporate is doing it at its personal expense.
Tesla additionally wants huge quantities of uncooked supplies for batteries, together with Russian nickel. Musk was slammed lately for proposing a peace plan on Twitter to finish Vladimir Putin’s struggle on Ukraine that had a noticeably Kremlin-friendly tone. Musk additionally has ties to China, as Tesla is the one international automaker within the nation that’s been allowed to totally personal and function its plant there with out being pressured to work with a home Chinese language companion.
That’s led many observers to wonder if China, which bans Twitter, will have the ability to exert its management over the location by looking for to reduce criticism over its insurance policies, together with the therapy of the Uyghurs, or suppressing pro-Taiwan content material.
Tesla shares, down about 50% this yr, fell 7% to $177.59 in Nasdaq buying and selling on Wednesday.