Oct 4, 2018

Elon Musk fires back at SEC, days after settlement

Elon Musk is back on Twitter antagonizing the Securities and Exchange Commission just four days after settling with them for $20 million.

Why it matters: The SEC reached settlements with Musk and Tesla that contain provisions aimed at vetting Musk’s shoot-from-the-hip tweeting. He’s mocking the very commission he struck a deal with — before that deal has even been approved by a judge.

The big picture: Elon Musk has shown himself to be his own worst enemy. This tweet could herald continued erratic behavior by the CEO, which would be bad for both the company and the share price which the SEC was ostensibly trying to protect.

  • The settlement isn't approved yet and some have noted the settlement would take effect 90 days after approval.
  • It included a provision that Tesla must create a process for reviewing any his social media posts directly related to Tesla, or which "reasonably could contain" information material to Tesla shareholders.
  • After the settlement was signed, a judge who was asked to approve it required Musk to write a letter explaining why the judge should approve the settlement deal, per CNN.

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Axios' Dan Primack and Felix Salmon contributed to this story.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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