ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (BLOOMBERG) – Former United States president Donald Trump had harsh words for billionaire Elon Musk at a rally in Alaska on Saturday (July 9), accusing the Tesla chief of inconsistency.
Referring to Mr Musk’s recent pronouncement that he had never voted Republican until this June, Mr Trump said that contradicted what Mr Musk had told him about his previous vote for the real-estate magnate.
Mr Trump followed with an expletive description of the world’s richest man and voiced his judgment on the Twitter acquisition deal that Mr Musk struck but has since decided to withdraw from, calling it “rotten”.
Mr Trump’s comments come in the wake of Mr Musk expressing a leaning towards Mr Ron DeSantis, currently the Florida governor and a favoured Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
Mr DeSantis is, so far, the strongest potential competitor to Mr Trump for the Republican nomination, and Mr Musk’s influence – now numbering more than 100 million followers on Twitter alone – could make his endorsement significant.
“I’m undecided at this point on that election,” Mr Musk said in a June 21 interview with Bloomberg News. He said he would commit US$20 million (S$28 million) to US$25 million to support his chosen contender.
After stressing the importance of free speech online, Mr Trump urged the crowd to join his own Truth Social, a network closely modelled on Twitter’s interface and functionality where the retweet button has been replaced with a “retruth” option.