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Evan Vucci / AP

Speaking to the nation's governors on Saturday, Elon Musk defended his strategy of engaging with President Trump.

"It was worth trying," he said, in response to a question from Axios. "I got a lot of flack from multiple fronts for even trying. Some guy rented billboards attacking me and (took out) full-page ads in the NY Times and what not... just for being on the panel."

Musk said in each meeting he tried to make the case for sustainability and also address some other issues, including ensuring "immigration laws [were] not unkind or unreasonable."

"I did my best, and I think in a few cases I did make some progress," he said. But remaining engaged after the President's move to exit the Paris accord, he said, would be akin to saying that wasn't a consequential move.

"If I stayed on the councils it would be saying that wasn't important, but I think it's super important. The country needs to keep its word. There's just no way I could stay on after that."

Musk also touched on a range of other issues, including offering up a prediction that within 10 years all new cars in the U.S. would be autonomous, and half of those would be electric.

Go deeper

Kate Marino, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.