Elon Musk could have just steered clear of politics entirely.
The guy could’ve enjoyed his massive fortune and played up his role as the ultimate God Among Geeks without ever telling anyone who he voted for or weighing in on the day’s headlines. He could’ve kept buying the patents from inventors and fashioning an image for himself as the mad scientist/savior who’s gonna save mankind by colonizing the entire solar system.
Instead, Musk made the decision to rebrand himself as social media’s number one culture warrior, and not surprisingly, his life and public image have become far more complicated as a result. As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Musk plans to buy Twitter, which is not in itself a political act.
But like everything in his life these days, Musk has made it political by trolling his opponents and bashing those whose views don’t align with his. Not surprisingly, this has made him a target and led to increased scrutiny of his private life.
Last week, Musk was accused of exposing himself to a flight attendant on his private jet and offering to buy the woman a horse in exchange for sex. He tried to get in front of the story by tweeting that he expected to become the center of a smear campaign in the very near future. Musk tweeted:
“Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold,”
(Insiders say the Tesla CEO was already aware of the forthcoming horse story when he “predicted” the attacks.) Musk went on to alleged that he’s on the receiving end of a “relentless hatestream from the far left” which might ezplain why he launched a seemingly random attack against Hillary Clinton over the weekend. A small, anonymous account wrote, tagging Musk in the tweet:
“I would be interested to know if, when you receive control over the company, anything was done with this at any level. Pls advise soonest,”
The tweet the account referred to was posted by Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary wrote at the time:
“Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank,”
Attached to the tweet was a statement from Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, which claimed Trump Tower was equipped with a “secret server” that may be the “key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.” The statement continued:
“This line of communication may help explain Trump’s bizarre adoration of Vladimir Putin and endorsement of so many pro-Kremlin positions throughout his campaign,”
A 5-year-old allegation from an anonymous account would probably go unnoticed by Musk in most situations, but on this day, Elon was spoiling for some controversy. He replied:
“You are absolutely correct. That tweet is a Clinton campaign hoax for which their campaign lawyer is undergoing a criminal trial,”
Musk linked to an article about the trial of campaign lawyer, the aptly-named Michael Sussman, who has been accused to lying to the FBI about Trump’s relationship with Russia.
Not surprisingly, Musk’s allegation that Clinton committed campaign fraud has been met with considerable blowback, with some pointing out factual inaccuracies in his argument, and others accusing the billionaire of attempting to deflect attention away from his sex scandal. Democratic strategist Dash Dobrofsky, tweeted:
“Elon Musk is now spreading treasonous lies about Hillary Clinton — and claiming the Trump-Russia collusion was a ‘hoax. Elon is also kissing up to Jim Jordan — an guy who allowed 43 kids at OSU to be molested. I’ll never buy a Tesla. For as long as I live. Neither should you.”
Needless to say, it’s getting ugly out there, just as everyone predicted it would when Musk announced his plans to buy Twitter. In fact, it seems that Musk is just about the only one who’s surprised by all of this.
To be clear, despite the many headlines declaring that the deal is done, Musk does not yet control Twitter, and he could still pull out of the deal. The backlash he’s experienced in the past few days might have left him more inclined to pull the plug. Or maybe he’ll go the opposite route — push the deal through so that he can create further distraction by restoring Donald Trump’s account. Either way, you can be sure this situation will become even more bonkers in the days and weeks to come!