Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is officially all over the place on Trump’s racist Muslim ban.
Earlier this week, Musk tweeted in defense of the ban, suggesting that “the left” was misleading people with their criticism of the ban’s impact.
But now, after a week of growing protests, Musk says he’ll “express objections” to the ban when he meets with Trump on Friday. What objections are those? Who knows.
Musk has joined a number of other business leaders in adding his name to several Trump advisory councils. One is called the Manufacturing Council, and another, the Strategic and Policy Forum. The second is having a meeting at the White House on Friday, February 3.
In the face of growing public criticism of Trump’s Muslim ban, and Trump’s overall erratic presidency, the heads of both Uber and Disney have both pulled out of Friday’s meeting. Uber also quit the policy forum completely. But not Musk.
The Muslim ban isn’t the first time Musk was happy to jump in the Trump bandwagon. Just last week, Musk came out in support of Trump’s embattled nominee for Secretary of State, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, like many top Trump advisers, has a troublingly cozy relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Tillerson was confirmed and sworn in this past Wednesday.
While Musk’s Trumpophilia went initially unnoticed, his defense of the Muslim ban, and now his attendance at Friday’s Strategic and Policy Forum, is drawing growing public criticism, which led to the lengthy statement Musk issued on Twitter Thursday night:
Yeah, not so fast. First off, Musk doesn’t explain why the sudden change of heart. Not three days ago, he was defending the Muslim ban and criticizing those who opposed it:
Yet now, suddenly, we’re to believe that Elon Musk finds the source material to be “more bad” than it was on Monday? How so, exactly? What changed between now and Monday, and what exact concerns is Elon Musk allegedly going to raise with Trump on Friday?
Elon Musk is naive if he doesn’t think his attendance at tomorrow’s meeting, and his membership on the two Trump advisory groups, is anything more than a propaganda coup for Donald Trump. Trump couldn’t care less what Elon Musk or anyone else thinks about policy. Musk is a trophy-CEO, just like all the other trophy heads of state that Trump is collecting in order to feed his own petty insecurities.
And in any case, judging by last week’s support of Tillerson, and this week’s tweet defending the Muslim ban, why should we believe that Elon Musk’s participation doesn’t mean he “agrees” with Trump’s policies. On two critically important policies two weeks in a row, it meant just that.
If Elon Musk isn’t a Trump stooge, and isn’t in fact selling out the hipster-ethos he’s cultivated around Tesla and SpaceX, then let him do what the other CEOs have done. Publicly criticize Trump’s Muslim ban, and then quit these Potemkin village advisory councils all together.
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