Jul 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump and Musk's war of words heats up

Combination images of former President Trump and Elon Musk.

Combination images of former President Trump and Elon Musk. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Former President Trump doubled down in his public denouncement of Elon Musk on Tuesday after the billionaire criticized him on Twitter.

Driving the news: "I don't hate the man, but it's time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset," Musk tweeted in response to a report on the former president calling him "another bullsh--t artist" at a rally in Alaska. "Dems should also call off the attack — don't make it so that Trump's only way to survive is to regain the Presidency."

What he's saying: Hours later, Trump claimed in a post on his Truth Social platform that Musk "came to the White House asking me for help on all of his many subsidized projects" during his administration.

  • "[W]hether 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," he wrote.
  • "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!"

Worth noting: In his attack, Trump also threw his support behind Twitter's efforts to sue Musk for backing out of the takeover.

  • "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!" Trump wrote, alerting Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as the company's CEO last November.
  • Twitter raised the stock reporting issue in its filing.

Flashback: Musk said in June he's leaning toward backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) if he decides to run for president in 2024, one month after the Tesla and SpaceX founder announced he could "no longer support Democrats."

Go deeper: How Twitter vs. Musk will end

Go deeper