The boys are fighting!
In an interview with French journalist Hugo Decrypte, Gates sounded off on the ongoing feud and Musk’s prior comments about how Gates’ claims to care about the environment aren’t backed up by action.
“Tesla’s done a fantastic job; I give a lot more money to climate change than Elon Musk or anyone else,” Gates candidly told the Youtuber. “[Elon’s] done a great job, but somebody shorting the stock doesn’t slow him down or hurt him in any way.”
The clip of the interview was posted to Twitter by Tesla shareholder Sawyer Merritt who tagged Musk and added the commentary “Ya … Ok” which garnered a simple, one-worded response from Musk.
“Sigh,” the billionaire bluntly wrote.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2022
The argument began at the end of April when texts were leaked to the New York Times and then circulated on Twitter between the two men that showed Gates asking Musk to work on philanthropic efforts together in an attempt to help combat climate change.
However, Gates was accused of shorting Tesla stocks, which left Musk unwilling to work with the billionaire on said efforts.
“Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change,” Musk said via text message.
The Tesla CEO confirmed via Twitter that the messages were real even though he didn’t initially leak them to the NYT and said that Gates’ shorting Tesla by a “half billion” wasn’t “exactly top secret.”
However, in an interview with TODAY just a few weeks later, Gates seemed to praise Musk when questioned about the billionaire’s proposed bid to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.
“You wouldn’t want to underestimate Elon. What he did at Tesla is amazing, helping with climate change, what he did at SpaceX,” Gates told Savannah Guthrie in conversation. “Will he this time make that improvement? Should there be laws that strike a better balance of free speech versus conspiracy theories confusing people? Elon thinks he can improve Twitter. I don’t know specifically what he’ll do. But there’s an opportunity and we need innovation in that space.”
But as of Monday, it looks like Musk’s bid may be permanently on hold after an amendment to an SEC filing on behalf of Musk showed that the Tesla CEO believes that Twitter is still “actively resisting” his request for release of data that shows how many Twitter accounts are bots or spam accounts and called such resistance a “clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement.”
This, Musk maintained, gives the billionaire the “right not to consummate the transaction” and the “right to terminate the merger agreement.”
Gates has not commented on the state of the acquisition.
Twitter was down around 1.5% in a 24-hour period by early Monday afternoon.