According to Walter Isaacson’s new biography, Elon Musk, the Tesla and Space X CE0 has had “deep disdain” towards Trump going all the way back to his 2016 campaign. Not only did Musk contribute to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but he openly criticized Trump.
However, Musk was willing to give the incoming president a chance and agreed to meet with him shortly after his surprise win in the 2016 election. That meeting reportedly left Musk even more “baffled” by Trump.
“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.”
Trump did not, in fact, turn out okay. He withdrew from the Paris climate accords, which prompted Musk to quit Trump’s presidential council in protest. In the years since, Musk has veered towards the far-right, but he has not changed his opinion on Trump even after famously inviting him back to Twitter.
According to Isaacson’s biography, Musk personally believes Trump committed criminal activity by sparking the January 6 attacks, which led to his initial ban. “It’s not free speech to subvert democracy,” Musk said.
However, he still allowed the former president to return to Twitter after posting a poll that broke towards reinstating the former president’s account. Musk made it clear he wasn’t happy with the results.
“I’m not Trump’s fan,” Musk told Isaacson. “He’s disruptive. He’s the world’s champion of bullshit.”