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Elon Musk ‘owned’ by China: Tesla CEO responds to former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s claim


On a recent podcast, right-wing podcaster Tim Pool asked former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon for his thoughts on Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan’s suggestion that Elon Musk buy Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which recently collapsed and the became the second largest. bank failure in American history. Musk responded by saying he was “open to the idea”.

However, Bannon ridiculed the idea and went on a tirade against Musk, accusing him of being owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and claiming that he had refused to delete the Twitter accounts of anti-Chinese government personalities, including his own, to recover since he was above the platform.

Bannon further claimed that the “only thing of real value” Musk owns is Tesla, and that Tesla’s planned Gigafactory 3 factory in Shanghai is “100% controlled” by the CCP. Despite sharing similar political views, Musk and Bannon seem to have a mutual dislike for each other.

Musk is “owned” by the CCP, Bannon said. “It’s owned by the Chinese Communist Party. What are you talking about? Tesla, the only thing that has real value is Tesla. He’s using it for margin lending. He’s selling the stock,” Bannon said.

“The joint venture in Shanghai is 100 percent controlled by the CCP. That is why he never goes after the CCP. That’s why he always retreats. Then they had the protest, they had the protest against the Covid lockdowns. He won’t.”

Pool also alleged that Musk was pressured by the Chinese government to stop promoting the “lablek” origin theory of the coronavirus, to which Bannon noted that Musk had not deleted his original tweets, but also added additional tweets after the alleged pressure from the Chinese.

Congressman Matt Gaetz, who was also present during the podcast episode, seemed shocked by Bannon’s accusations against Musk. He later cut out the clip of Bannon criticizing Musk and shared it on Twitter, tagging Tesla’s CEO and asking for his opinion.

In response, Musk expressed his distaste for Bannon, saying, “I used to think Bannon was smart and evil, but now I realize I was wrong on the first part.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.