The rivalry between the former U.S. president and the richest man in the world is escalating.
Who will back down first, Donald Trump or Elon Musk?
The war between the two prolific tweeters over the Republican nomination for the presidential election of 2024 is becoming more intense.
The two men’s public personalities on social media have common characteristics: They like confrontation. Nothing stimulates them as much as attacking or bullying those they perceive as opponents. They will stop at nothing to silence their skeptics. They use insults, cruel mockery, humiliation, often in an abrasive tone. Losing is not part of their vocabulary. Social networks are their arena and their territory. They settle their accounts there.
Their Confrontation Was Inevitable
For a long time, Trump and Musk had managed to avoid each other, but the more the Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report CEO’s influence grew and the more willing he became to get involved in politics, the more it became likely that a confrontation with Trump would happen.
It was the tech tycoon’s revelation that his favorite candidate for the 2024 presidential election is Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that sparked the fire. DeSantis is considered Trump’s biggest threat for the Republican nomination.
While Trump has not yet officially declared that he will be a candidate, the twice-impeached one-term president does not hide his desire for a new run.
It is therefore no surprise that Trump is now firing red balls at Musk, one of the few personalities who can stand up to him. Musk, who announced he voted Republican for the first time in June in local elections in Texas where he has lived since 2021, enjoys wide popularity with conservatives especially for his repeated and scathing criticism of progressive democrats.
As a result, Trump is aware that Musk, who has more than 100 million followers on Twitter at the time of writing, is a danger to his own popularity and influence.
“You know, he said the other day ‘Oh, I’ve never voted for a Republican’. I said I didn’t know that. He told me he voted for me. So he’s another bullshit artist,” Trump said during a rally in Anchorage, Alaska on July 9.
To this mocking nickname, which is one of the marks of the former president who likes to give nicknames to his opponents, Musk reacted strongly by eulogizing Trump’s political career.
“I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset,” the serial entrepreneur said on Twitter on July 11. In another tweet, the tech titan called Trump too old to be running again.
“Trump would be 82 at end of term, which is too old to be chief executive of anything, let alone the United States of America,” Musk responded. “If DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win – he doesn’t even need to campaign,” Musk added.
‘Drop to Your Knees and Beg’
A few hours after the reaction of the serial entrepreneur, Trump puts it back on and this time he takes the heavy artillery out of his repertoire.
“When Elon Musk came to the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects, whether it’s electric cars that don’t drive long enough, driverless cars that crash, or rocketships to nowhere, without which subsidies he’d be worthless, and telling me how he was a big Trump fan and Republican, I could have said, “drop to your knees and beg,” and he would have done it…” Trump wrote on July 12 on his own social media Truth Social, with a photo of him and Musk in the Oval Office.
Like a boxer determined to win by knockout, Trump then seized on the new legal battle between Musk and the management of Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report after the mogul withdrew his offer to acquire the platform for $44 billion.
“Now Elon should focus on getting himself out of the Twitter mess because he could owe $44 billion for something that’s perhaps worthless. Also, lots of competition for electric cars!” Trump wrote.
And to top it all off, the former president appears to be inviting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to open an investigation into a potential breach of financial disclosure rules. Disclosures that Musk allegedly breached when he started amassing Twitter shares. The billionaire holds a stake of 9.1% in the social network, he revealed in documents filed with the SEC early April. What had surprised experts is that Musk had unveiled this investment outside the deadlines required by the regulator. And this did not escape Trump.
“P. S., Why was Elon allowed to break the $15 million stock purchase barrier on Twitter without any reporting? That is a very serious breach! Have fun Elon and @jack, go to it!” the former said.
Musk has so far reacted to these attacks by brushing them off.
The tensions between the two billionaires come as they both go through a tough time on other fronts. For Musk, it is the legal battle with Twitter. As for Trump, explosive revelations about his failed efforts to overthrow his election loss in relation to the events of January 6, 2021 on Capitol Hill continue. In the latest instance, the January 6 committee hearing heard that Trump tried to contact a committee witness, potentially in a bid to change their testimony.. The incident has been referred to the Department of Justice.
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This story was originally published July 12, 2022 11:03 PM.
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