Updated Nov 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Senator threatens Musk: Fix your companies or Congress will

Ed markey

Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) speaks at a press conference on July 18 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Take Back the Court Action Fund

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Sunday threatened Elon Musk to "fix" his companies "or Congress will," hours after Musk mocked the senator for demanding answers about Twitter's verification process.

Driving the news: The exchange comes days after Markey tweeted to Musk, attaching a letter, demanding Twitter to explain how a Washington Post reporter was able to successfully set up a verified account impersonating the senator.

  • "I’m asking for answers from [Elon Musk] who is putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation," Markey tweeted on Friday.

Musk's response came Sunday, saying on Twitter: "Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?"

  • "And why does your pp have a mask!?," he added in a follow up tweet, referencing the senator's Twitter profile picture, showing him wearing a surgical mask.

Markey shot back Sunday afternoon, telling Musk: "One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people."

  • "And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will," he added.

Catch up quick: A Washington Post reporter wrote on Friday that he was able to quickly and easily set a verified account impersonating Markey, having previously gotten the senator's permission to conduct the test.

In his letter to Musk, Markey demanded answers to a series of questions about Twitter's verification process by Nov. 25.

  • "Allowing an imposter to impersonate a U.S. Senator on Twitter is a serious matter that you need to address promptly," Markey wrote.

Worth noting: Markey sits on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which oversees the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Go deeper: Elon Musk's major Twitter miscalculation

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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