Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk was in "blatant violation" of a settlement agreement and his defense against being held in contempt "borders on the ridiculous," the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a court filing Monday.

Details: The SEC alleges Musk violated the terms after tweeting on February 19 that Tesla would build 500,000 cars in 2019. He quickly clarified in another tweet the company would build at an annual rate of 500,000 cars by the year's end but it would only build 400,000 cars in 2019. His attorney told a federal last week Musk's tweet was "immaterial." Lawyers for the SEC found it "stunning to learn" Musk had not sought pre-approval for his tweets about Tesla in the months since the court-ordered pre-approval policy went into effect.

Go deeper: Pro Rata Podcast: Elon Musk's surprise settlement

What they're saying: “Musk’s contention — that the potential size of a car company’s production for the year could not reasonably be material — borders on the ridiculous,” lawyers for SEC wrote. “His interpretation is inconsistent with the plain terms of this court’s order and renders its pre-approval requirement meaningless."

What's next: U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, sitting in Manhattan, will decide if Musk should be held in contempt of court and whether he should be punished.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 20,412,501 — Total deaths: 744,649— Total recoveries: 12,629,465Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 5,163,509 — Total deaths: 164,994 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.