According to Mediate, Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur behind companies like Tesla and SpaceX, reportedly holds a deep disdain for former President Donald Trump, viewing him as a “con man” and “the world’s champion of bullshit.” This revelation comes from a new biography by renowned author Walter Isaacson, which explores Musk’s life and career.
Despite Musk’s recent association with right-leaning and far-right accounts on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), he has a history of criticism and skepticism towards Trump. According to the book, Musk had not been particularly politically active but had contributed to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In 2016, he publicly voiced his opposition to Trump but hoped that the real estate mogul would govern more responsibly than his campaign behavior suggested.
A pivotal moment occurred in December 2016 when Musk had a private meeting with President-elect Trump. Afterward, Musk was reportedly “baffled” by Trump’s comments about Tesla and NASA. Musk’s initial impression was that Trump “seems kind of nuts,” but he held out hope that Trump would govern differently from how he campaigned.
However, as time went on, Musk’s view of Trump soured. He came to see Trump as consistent in his behavior, both before and after taking office, and concluded that Trump was a “con man” who excelled at manipulation. Musk eventually resigned from the presidential councils he served on when Trump withdrew from the Paris climate accords.
Even after Trump left office, Musk’s disdain for him persisted. The biography describes Musk’s increasing concern with “wokeness” but notes that he still held a “deep disdain” for Trump. In contrast, Musk found President Joe Biden “boring as hell” but indicated that he would have voted for Biden in 2020 had he believed his vote in California, where he was registered at the time, would have made a difference. (This contradicts Musk’s public comments earlier in the year when he claimed to have voted for Biden.)
Regarding Trump’s Twitter ban following the January 6th Capitol riot, Musk suggested that Trump should remain banned if he was “engaged in criminal activity.” Musk even expressed his belief that Trump was involved in such activity. Musk stated that he wanted to avoid “bullshit disputes” about Trump, emphasizing that if Trump was undermining democracy through criminal actions, it was not a matter of free speech.
In December 2016, Musk had a private meeting with Trump, during which he was “baffled” by the then-president-elect’s comments about Tesla and NASA.
“He seems kind of nuts,” Musk said after the meeting, according to Isaacson, “but he may turn out okay.”
On the contrary: Musk “concluded that Trump as president was no different than he was as a candidate,” Isaacson wrote. “The buffoonery was not just an act.”
“Trump might be one of the best bullshitters ever,” Musk told Isaacson. “If you just think of Trump as a sort of con-man performance, then his behavior sort of makes sense.”
Musk told Isaacson that Trump should remain banned from Twitter if he was “engaged in criminal activity” — and even said he believed Trump was.
“I want to avoid the bullshit disputes about Trump,” Musk said. “If he’s engaged in criminal activity — it seems increasingly that he has — that’s not okay.”
“It’s not free speech to subvert democracy,” Musk said.
I’m not Trump’s fan,” Musk told Isaacson that day. “He’s disruptive. He’s the world’s champion of bullshit.”