May 29, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump weighs possible advisory role for Elon Musk, WSJ reports

Elon Musk

Musk visiting Trump Tower in New York in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Trump and Elon Musk have begun speaking on the phone several times a month, including about a potential advisory role for the Tesla CEO in a second Trump administration, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Musk has become one of President Biden's most prominent online critics, leveraging his massive X platform to attack Democrats and promote Trump's messaging on the 2024 election's top issues.

  • The billionaire X mogul hasn't officially endorsed Trump, but the two met privately in March as the former president sought to boost his fundraising ahead of the general election.
  • Since then, Trump and Musk have developed a closer relationship and exchanged views on immigration, electric vehicles, the U.S. Space Force, and Musk's portfolio of companies, according to the Journal.

Zoom in: The loose role Trump has floated for Musk would be similar to that of former Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter, a longtime Trump acquaintance who quietly helped shape policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Journal reports.

  • Musk, who said he voted Republican for the first time in 2022, has become a fierce critic of DEI policies and the Biden administration's handling of the southern border.
  • He has frequently spread misinformation about undocumented immigrants and voter fraud, and in March wrote on X: "There is either a red wave this November or America is doomed."

Flashback: Musk resigned from a pair of White House business advisory councils in 2017 after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

The intrigue: The Journal reports that Musk and billionaire Nelson Peltz are investing in a data-driven project aimed at preventing voter fraud, which has long been a Trump obsession.

  • There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, a fact repeatedly affirmed by Trump's own attorney general, Bill Barr.
  • Still, Musk and Peltz told Trump about the plan at a meeting in March, according to the Journal — and briefed him on their private efforts to convince elite business leaders not to support Biden in November.

What to watch: Tesla is facing multiple investigations from the Biden administration, giving Musk and Trump common cause despite their differences on climate policy and the importance of electric vehicles.

  • Still, the details of Musk's potential role in a future Trump administration remain incomplete and unofficial.
  • "President Trump will be the only voice of what role an individual plays in his presidency," Trump campaign spokesman Brian Hughes told the Journal.
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