Tech mogul Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter stirred up much controversy over the past several weeks. But the ludicrously outspoken and eccentric billionaire may have cause to worry given how the President of the United States recently spoke about how his ties to foreign nations may warrant looking into.
President Joe Biden told reporters during the regular White House media briefing on Wednesday, November 9th, that Musk’s technical agreements or cooperative actions with foreign governments were worthy of a closer look by the authorities. Biden added that he would not say anything to the effect that Musk’s liaisons were inappropriate, only that they needed to be scrutinized more closely.
Last month, several insiders said that the current US administration considered subjecting some of Musk’s initiatives under national security review, including the Twitter deal, his satellite internet project Starlink, and the proposed satellite network under his off-planet travel entity SpaceX.
The purchase of Twitter, in particular, is being called into question because of the involvement of several foreign parties. These include the crypto-exchange and token developer Binance, which was founded and currently operated by Chinese nationals; Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar.
Even Musk’s primary money-maker, electric vehicle company Tesla, may be subject to further investigation as around 25% of its total revenue comes from sales in China.
A Frustrating Individual
Musk’s off-color remarks about many key US officials and world leaders have earned the ire – and the frustration – of authorities in the United States and Europe. Indeed, the mogul raised hackles when he compared Biden to a damp sock puppet in human form, both in the government and the private sector.
On the flip side, rival nations like China have lauded the erratic billionaire for several proposed initiatives, including his proposals to end the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as his threat to withdraw financial support for Starlink internet service within Ukraine.
Musk also came under fire for the callous way he fired out all of Twitter’s incumbent directors and around half of its staff with barely any notice. However, Musk asked several laid-off employees to return following the backlash.
Politically, Musk also raised eyebrows just as Americans were heading to the polls for the midterm elections. The mogul called upon voters to bring in the Republicans, claiming that an equal division in the Upper and Lower Houses of Congress would curb the worst excesses of both political parties.