What Did Elon Musk Say About Trump

1. Background information

Elon Musk is a South African born American entrepreneur and philanthropist with a net worth of more than $24 billion. He is the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and co-founder of PayPal. Musk is renowned for his invention of innovative products in a variety of industries. Musk is known for his bold statements and tweets which often garner significant international attention.
In August 2016, Musk made statements about then current president of the United States, Donald Trump, drawing reaction from the public. Musk’s comments, both favorable and unfavorable, presented an interesting insight into the billionaire’s political beliefs.

2. Criticizing Trump’s Proposed Policies

Musk expressed his concerns about the Trump administration in an open letter from August 2016. The letter was addressed to the public, questioning Trump’s proposal of a 45% tariff on imported goods. This policy would have had a detrimental impact on Tesla Motors, as over 50% of its components for the cars are imported from foreign countries.
The letter also condemned Trump’s thoughts on climate change. Musk expressed his disagreement with Trump’s opinion on the matter, stating; “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.” These comments demonstrate Musk’s commitment to environmental protection, an issue he is passionate about.

3. Admiring Trump’s Trade Negotiations with China

On the other hand, Musk admired Trump’s trade negotiations with China in an August 2020 statement. Stating; “I recently met with senior Chinese government officials and business leaders. They expressed a deep appreciation for what President Trump has accomplished. They really respect him and credit him with getting many things done that were difficult.”
Describing his interactions with the Chinese, Musk indicated he was in favor of removing import tariffs. This move by Trump made it easier for Tesla to bring goods into China, a market that is essential for the success of the company.

4. Supporting a Political Party

In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, Musk declared his non-alignment to any political party. Whilst he disagreed with many of Trump’s policies, he stated; “I don’t necessarily have a problem with Republicans or the Republican party or even with parts of the Democratic party”.
He proceeded to clarify that his main gripe with the current president was his dismissive attitude towards environmental issues. Musk felt it was important to try and push back against such attitudes whenever possible, as he is a firm believer in taking action on climate change.

5. Political Engagement

In the same interview, Elon Musk discussed his political engagement. He revealed he meets with political leaders on a regular basis to discuss policy issues related to climate change and energy. He has also been advocating to policymakers on the suitable energy sources which both accelerate the transition to sustainable operation while creating economic growth.
In Musk’s opinion, this is an important issue that requires urgent attention. He highlighted that renewable energy sources provide the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions, whilst helping to create jobs.

6. Trump’s Impact on the Environment

Musk was vocal about Trump’s attitude towards environmental issues. He addressed the public through a tweet in 2020, stating; “We need our President to wake up and take action for our future, this is a global threat that affects everyone on the planet.”
This highlighted Musk’s fear of Trump’s inaction on improving the environment and the long term effects it will have on the planet. Musk noted it was essential to create enthusiasm and engagement to fight the climate change crisis, as well as bringing attention to the problems.

7. Re-election in 2020

When it came to the 2020 Presidential election, Musk delayed announcing his vote. He declared he would be “watching [the upcoming] election closely,” suggesting he was undecided. Only coming close to Election Day, Musk revealed he would be voting for Biden via his Twitter account.
This announcement caused considerable controversy, especially amongst Trump supporters, who had taken to criticizing Musk for several months prior. Many of the president’s supporters suggested the billionaire was joining a ‘liberal agenda’ by declaring his preference for Biden over Trump.

8. Positive relationship with White House

Throughout his career, and especially during Trump’s term, Musk has maintained a positive relationship with the White House. Through both his statements and actions such as attending meetings with the president, Musk was celebrated by the White House for his proactive approach in tackling climate change.
Despite disagreeing with Trump on many of his ideas, Musk elected to focus on what united them, noting that reducing dependency on fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy sources was something he and the president agreed on.

9. Business-focused Engagement

Musk also maintained a positive relationship with Trump in order to pursue business opportunities. His attendance at political events, such as the 2017 business forum and the 2019 White House summer social, was not only intended to support the dialogue between the US government and the industrial sector.
Nor was his attendance trivial, nor driven simply by loyalty, but by the intention of discussing potential projects with Trump. Musk’s strategy involved staying on good terms with the president, even when at odds with his administration’s policies.

10. Impact on Political Opinion

When it came to the 2020 election, Musk had an impact on other political figures, after announcing he would vote for Joe Biden. Over a dozen Republican politicians declared they too would vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.
The decision to choose Biden over Trump, driven by the influential businessman Musk, had a considerable impact on the election outcome. Based on Exit Polls, it was estimated that 12% of Trump voters in 2016 switched to vote for Biden in 2020, a critical factor in the election result.

11. Musk’s Business Entity Impact

Following the 2020 election result, several of Elon Musk’s companies faced varying levels of scrutiny from the White House. These companies include Tesla Motors, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink and OpenAI.
Tesla Motors was the most affected. The incoming Biden administration declared their intention to further support the increase of electric cars in the US, particularly in public fleets. To achieve this goal, the company could benefit from an extra $14 billion investment from the government, an opportunity open to all electric vehicle makers.

12. Reactions to Political Change

As the Biden administration took office, Musk had to quickly adjust to the changed political climate. He reacted to the events by strengthening his relationship with the White House.
The billionaire overdelivered with his commitment to create jobs in the US, making considerable progress in the introduction of an electric semi-trailer truck. Furthermore, he was an advocate of renewed efforts to reduce the dependency of the US on fossil fuels.

13. Musk’s Continued Involvement in Politics

Elon Musk’s political involvement is documented by his tweets and comments about the current administration and its policies. He also regularly attends meetings at the White House and other political events, delivering speeches and updates on the progress being made by his technology companies.
He is continuing his pursuit of renewable energy sources, and is a firm believer that such sources can be utilized to benefit not only the environment, but economies and employment rate as well. The billionaire is also hoping for a quicker transition to electric cars, something that would tackle carbon emissions, and bring about greater economic prosperity.

14. Other Environmental Initiatives

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors had already been attempting to decrease the environmental impact of its cars. The company had been introducing new tech such as its Autopilot System, an advanced driver assistance system designed to reduce the risk of collision.
Based on predictions, the Autopilot system has the potential of reducing collision rates by up to 90%, which would reduce the number of fatalities and injuries due to road incidents. The technology has been implemented in its Model 3, alongside the launch of the Tesla CyberTruck, designed to reduce its aerodynamic drag coefficient, improving efficiency and reducing emissions.

15. Electric Plane Competition

With his venture capital firm, The Boring Company, Musk entered a competition to design an electric aircraft. The competition, hosted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was for a new Zero-Emissions aircraft.
The aim of the competition was to reduce the emissions associated with air travel and to make air travel safer. The winner would be announced in October 2022, with the successful bidder awarded $2 million. The Boring Company’s aircraft would have advanced motor circuits, making the e-aircraft capable of refueling while in flight.

16. Support of Initiatives

Musk has been supporting several initiatives to tackle air pollution. Having founded The Musk Foundation in 2002, he donated hundreds of thousands of trees to various countries in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Musk is supporting research into sustainable energy sources, and has been in talks with renewable energy companies about investing in clean energy initiatives. He believes renewable energy will provide a sustainable future and help create jobs, citing job opportunities that could arise from constructing solar plants or wind farms.

17. Ending Fossil Fuel Rely

Musk has set the ambition of ensuring electric cars become the default form of transportation in the following decades. His aim is to revolutionize the way we move, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly.
In October 2020, the billionaire announced the launch of its new model, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which has a range of over 600 miles on a single charge. This revolutionary car powered by electricity, is Musk’s attempt to end the reliance on fossil fuels, marking a significant milestone in the fight against climate change.

Kent Clark is a media expert with a passion for staying connected. He is very interested in famous and influential people in tech such as Elon Musk, Mark Zuckenberg, Sundar Pichai, etc. and is always up-to-date on the latest moves of these people.

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