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Elon Musk says if his tweets lose his firms money, then so be it

Elon Musk spoke to CNBC’s David Faber in a wide-ranging interview that was shared by the media outlet on Tuesday, May 16.

Toward the end of the lengthy exchange, Faber asked Musk why he bothers tweeting stuff to his 140 million followers that he knows will be controversial — the most recent of which he posted on Monday accusing the billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros of hating humanity and comparing him to Magneto, Marvel’s Jewish supervillain from the X-Men series — especially as such opinions have the potential to impact the three companies that he leads: Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX.

After a full 11 seconds of silent contemplation, Musk responds: “You know, I’m reminded of a scene in The Princess Bride … where [Mandy Patinkin’s character, Inigo Montoya] confronts the person who kills his father. And he says, ‘Offer me money. Offer me power. I don’t care.’”

Faber follows up, saying, “So, you just don’t care.”

Musk replies: “I’ll say what I want to say, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”

Elon Musk on Tuesday said that if his inflammatory tweets scare away advertisers from Twitter, he will accept that. “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it."

— CNBC (@CNBC) May 16, 2023

His characteristically forthright position shows that Musk appears fine with upsetting not only investors but also Tesla customers and Twitter users who may not like the position he takes on various matters. But then, they already know that he’s no conventional CEO.

Musk is supposed to have a lawyer check his tweets to make sure they don’t get him into any legal trouble following a clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission following a 2018 tweet about taking Tesla private, but the so-called “Twitter sitter” arrangement clearly doesn’t prevent Musk from expressing most of his opinions on the platform, regardless of the level of controversy they’re likely to cause.

Certainly, it will be interesting to see if the newly appointed Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino will be OK with Musk potentially upsetting advertisers with his Twitter posts considering that a big part of her role is to make the platform a welcoming place for businesses to spend big as they show off their wares.

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Trevor Mogg
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