Former President Donald Trump took to his social media platform Truth Social Tuesday evening to bash Elon Musk and claim the world’s richest man once called himself a “big Trump fan,” after Musk was hit with a lawsuit for terminating his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, marking the latest parry in an escalating war of words between the two outspoken billionaires.
Trump took partial credit for generating Musk’s massive wealth, claiming in a post that Musk would be “worthless” and his business ventures would have failed without government subsidies that Musk supposedly asked Trump to approve (Musk was already a billionaire before Trump took office, but his net worth spiked in 2020, largely due to a surge in Tesla’s share price).
The former president ridiculed Musk’s products, saying his companies like Tesla and SpaceX have produced “driverless cars that crash” and “rocketships to nowhere,” while calling Twitter “perhaps worthless.”
Musk on Monday night launched his own attacks against Trump, saying the 76-year-old ex-president was a “bull in a china shop” and should “hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.”
Musk also denied that he told Trump he voted for him, a claim Trump made at a Saturday rally, but Trump doubled down on Tuesday and insisted Musk said he was “a big Trump fan and Republican” during a White House visit.
Trump at the Saturday rally labeled Musk “another bullshit artist” for trying to get out of the Twitter deal.
Musk responded to Trump’s Truth Social posts Tuesday by tweeting a GIF of the popular “Old Man Yells at Cloud” meme from the Simpsons.
“I could have said ‘drop to your knees and beg,’ and he would have done it,” Trump said of a White House visit in which Musk purportedly asked for financial help with his projects.
Musk and Trump started trading barbs after Musk agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, with his pledge to rein in the platform’s moderation tactics appearing to put it in direct competition with Trump’s nascent Truth Social. But hostilities significantly picked up in recent days as the Twitter deal crumbled. Musk informed Twitter on Friday that he was “terminating” the agreement, leading Bret Taylor, the chairman of Twitter’s board, to pledge “legal action” to force the deal to go through. Twitter made good on Taylor’s promise Tuesday, filing a lawsuit against Musk in Delaware seeking to force Musk to buy the company. Musk has repeatedly accused Twitter of failing to provide adequate data to prove how many fake and spam accounts populate the platform, but Twitter decried Musk’s requests as “increasingly invasive and unreasonable” and at least in some cases not contractually required.
Elon Musk: Trump Too Old For Presidency, Should ‘Hang Up His Hat & Sail Into The Sunset’ (Forbes)
Musk vs. Trump? Elon Slams Truth Social For ‘Terrible Name’ After Deal To Buy Twitter (Forbes)
Twitter Sues Elon Musk For Trying To Cancel Acquisition (Forbes)
Elon Musk ‘Terminating’ Deal To Buy Twitter—Platform Plans Legal Action (Forbes)