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What is behind the “friendship” between Elon Musk and Donald Trump?

What is behind the “friendship” between Elon Musk and Donald Trump?

During most of Biden’s tenure in the White House, his relationship with Elon Musk was tense. And it may be about to get worse: Biden’s re-election campaign has been told that Donald Trump may appoint Musk as an advisor if he wins the November election.

The president’s campaign is investing in criticizing Trump’s ties to business. “The United States is not for sale to billionaires, oil and gas executives, or even Elon Musk, despite what Donald Trump thinks,” campaign spokesman James Singer told DealBook in his first comments about Musk.

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What we know about the growing rapprochement between Musk and Trump, according to the Wall Street Journal:

  • The two talk frequently: Musk and Trump speak on the phone several times a month.
  • The relationship is about influence, not money: Musk doesn’t just want to donate to the Trump campaign; He has offered to use his influence among business leaders to help fight Biden’s reelection campaign. Musk co-hosted a dinner party at investor David Sachs’s home in Los Angeles last month. Peter Thiel, Steven Mnuchin and Rupert Murdoch were present.
  • Nelson Peltz has been instrumental. Musk and Trump met in March at the billionaire investor’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, where they discussed an advisory role. Peltz and Musk also presented Trump with an investment plan in a project aimed at preventing the possibility of election fraud.

Musk declined to comment on the magazine article. In an interview with Don Lemon earlier this year, he downplayed the significance of the reunion. He commented, “Suffice it to say that he did most of the talking.”

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Musk voted for Biden in 2020 but has shifted to the right. He has increasingly used X, his social media platform, to criticize the president on immigration and health issues, and to attack diversity, equity and inclusion programs embraced by the political left. Musk was also upset that the White House did not invite Tesla to participate in an electric car event in 2021.

Biden appears interested in stoking competition. The president often ignores Musk’s opinions, a tactic that may prove a mistake. As Andrew pointed out, like it or not, Musk is a natural ally on issues like fighting climate change. The latest comments from the Biden campaign suggest that it considers it politically expedient to distance itself from the billionaire class (these efforts target working-class votes in the most contentious states).

For Trump, Musk’s support represents another billionaire to align himself with. Musk indicated that he is not ready to support any candidate, and stated that he will not donate to any of them. But the information about his strengthening ties with Trump is certainly a boost for the Republican Party, just days after Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman announced his support for him.