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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Musk and Trump in secret talks – WSJ

The ex-president and Tesla CEO are exploring ways of giving the billionaire “formal input and influence” on government policies

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump could make Tesla CEO Elon Musk a White House adviser if he wins the election in November, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with discussions between the pair.

According to the paper’s sources, Musk’s possible appointment is by no means set in stone, and specifics of any possible role are still unclear. However, the tycoon and the former US president are said to have forged close ties in recent months, discussing “ways to give Musk formal input and influence” over government policy.

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The WSJ’s sources claimed that some of the conversations between Musk and Trump revolved around immigration, technology and science, with their views becoming increasingly aligned. During the conversations, Musk also reportedly asked Trump to write more posts on X (formerly known as Twitter), the social network he owns. The former president posted prolifically on the platform before he was temporarily banned in 2021.

The Tesla CEO, along with prominent American billionaire Nelson Peltz, also reportedly set out a “data-driven” investment project to prevent voter fraud in US elections. He and Peltz also told Trump about an ongoing influence campaign in which they are lobbying those in elite US circles not to support President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection, the paper said.

Musk briefly served on the White House advisory council under the Trump administration but left the panel after the former president pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.

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The US billionaire has yet to comment on the report. While the tycoon has stopped short of endorsing the 45th president, he made his pro-GOP sympathies known in May 2022, writing on X that the Democrats “have become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.”

Later that year, he expressed support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a former GOP presidential candidate who dropped out of the race in January 2024 and supported Trump’s reelection bid.