Elon Musk flip-flops again on Muslim ban

In the face of mounting public pressure, Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has changed his mind (again) on Trump’s Muslim ban. This time for the better.

Musk now opposes the ban, and has added his name to a Washington state court brief opposing Trump’s ban.

Musk had initially expressed concerns about the ban. Here he is on January 28.

Then, on January 30, suddenly Musk is defending the Muslim ban — and feeling deceived by “the left.”

Then, on February 2, Musk once again has “objections” to the Muslim ban, though it’s unclear what exactly he objects to, since only 3 days before he thought concerns about the ban were overblown:

And on February 4, a day after the White House meeting, Trump reports that he “raised climate”and “the travel ban.” Though again, it’s unclear what Musk said.

A day later, Musk is blasting “activists,” a word that tends to be used by critics, not simpaticos.

And finally yesterday, February 7, we learn that Musk has joined the Washington state lawsuit against the Muslim ban.

Woosh. That’s a heck of an evolution. And you, all of you, deserve credit for helping make it happen. It was public pressure on all of corporate America, starting with Uber and Disney, and then Tesla/SpaceX, that pushed Musk to finally come around (again) on the Muslim ban.

elon musk

Elon Musk at the Summit 2013 – Picture by Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media – www.heisenbergmedia.com

It’s still not clear why Musk is joining the law suit. Has he reversed his earlier opinion that “the left” was exaggerating concerns about the ban? If so, why? What specific concerns does Elon Musk have with the ban?

And just as importantly, will Musk remain on the two Trump business councils he eagerly joined? The one council met last Friday, and after Uber and Disney refused to attend, Musk claimed it was better to be present than not. But Musk attended and what came of it? Trump is still forging ahead with the Muslim ban, and is crazier than ever. If anything, Musk and the other CEOs in attendance simply validated Trump’s legitimacy and agenda. They were trophy CEOs that Trump was collecting like nubile brides to prove his legitimacy and virility. So why remain on the two business councils when clearly Trump isn’t listening?

And what of Trump’s other policies? Tesla hangs its hook on being good for the climate, but Trump thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax. Did his opinion change after meeting with Musk and other CEOs last Friday? Nope. And Musk still hasn’t recanted his support for Trump’s secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

It’s one thing for Elon Musk to claim that engaging Trump will somehow yield progress. But when Musk engages either he agrees with Trump (e.g, Tillerson and the Muslim ban), or his engagement yields not benefit (Musk flip-flopped again on the ban, and Trump still didn’t change his mind).

I get that it’s tempting for a corporate CEO to want to suck up to the president. But then stop pretending that your company is the vanguard of the environmentally-conscious hipster, when you’re simply another company interested in a quick buck.

Maybe it’s time we started asking Tesla board members what they think. Let’s start with Ira Ehrenpreis @IraEhrenpreis.

And sign the petition, calling on Elon Musk to cut his warm and fuzzy ties to Donald Trump.
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13 Responses to “Elon Musk flip-flops again on Muslim ban”

  1. venus markov says:


  2. Bolton Winpenny says:

    That’s a good point. However, I feel if one doesn’t bother to vote, then I don’t bother to consider them. I could also fairly say that 81.9% of the country didn’t vote against Trump.

  3. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    “Almost half the country voted for him, he doesn’t need your validation.”

    Correction – almost half the voters voted for him. That’s a lot different than half the country.

  4. Bolton Winpenny says:

    Is the purpose of talking with politicians to get them to see your point of view? So isn’t flip-flopping good? That is, if people never change their mind, why try to talk to them? It sounds to me that Musk is working to make a difference, being part of a discussion not a dictator. He’s changing his view depending on what he learns. The left has completely lost all sense of this. My left friends are putting their heads in the sand, not listening to anybody else’s points of view, just screaming that Trump is… It’s too late to validate or not validate Trump, he is the president of the United States of America. Almost half the country voted for him, he doesn’t need your validation. He needs you to stay in the conversation and take any chance to feed him information that might help your cause.

  5. Gailcnovak says:

    Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj391d:
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
    ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash391TopStarGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj391d:….,………

  6. sonyawiley says:

    Hey Elon
    We need you to be the beacon of positivity, since that’s the essence of who you are that’s what make you so great.
    Keep up the good work!
    Much love

  7. Mike says:

    Sten has it right, the rest of you need to reread the article carefully. Why remain on the two business councils when clearly Trump isn’t listening? Musk wants to help & believes that staying on the councils gives him a better chance to actually make a difference. For instance, the agenda to one meeting was changed at his request so that the important issue was discussed immediately. Maybe Musk simply wants the record to reflect that he did everything he could to make a positive impact. I don’t think his motives are to “suck up” to Trump & he certainly does not need more money. He has plenty. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk Do your homework.

  8. Krusher says:

    Will whoever is doing Elon Musk’s thinking for him please, PLEASE tell him what his final position on this issue is! I am sick and tired of his flipping and flopping.

  9. Sten Ritterfeld says:

    This has been the worst reporting I’ve seen in ages. What? If all the info you got is from those tweets, your story makes just no sense at all. He did not flip flop, he held the same opinion. The only thing he says is that more moderates should advise the president, not extremist left people. That’s a view to have, it’s a bit established democrat (which is not surprising for a billionaire that runs multiple companies), but it is certainly not endorsing Trump or the travel ban.

  10. Demosthenes says:

    Yeah, I’m sort of kidding. I actually would like to get a BMW.

  11. Naja pallida says:

    If you’re going to base your car buying choice on the ethics of an automaker CEO, you’re going to end up riding a bike. The board rooms of the entire auto industry has been a hive of scum and villainy for decades.

  12. Naja pallida says:

    I just don’t understand why any serious business person would want to give Trump so much as an inch of support. His randomness, and penchant for offending everybody and anybody, could cost them millions at any moment. If Trump starts a trade war with Asia, Tesla is going to be totally screwed – as they watch the cost of their raw materials skyrocket. They are Wile E. Coyote holding a lit bomb, hoping to get some shred of input into policy-making, before it explodes in their face.

  13. Demosthenes says:

    Okay, I’m convinced. My next car definitely won’t be a Tesla.

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