In a conference call on Wednesday, President Biden said that the new CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, may be a “national security threat.”
Biden Believes Elon May Be a Threat
President Joe Biden was asked at a news conference on Wednesday if he thought Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk, and his relationships with other countries are a security threat to the United States’ national security.
The reporter asked: “Do you think Elon Musk is a threat to U.S. national security, and should the U.S., with the tools you have, investigate his joint acquisition of Twitter with foreign governments, which include the Saudis?”
Biden responded, “I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at. Whether he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting they’re worth being looked at.”
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, among the wealthiest Middle Eastern investors, and his investment firm have emerged as the second-largest investor in Twitter after Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.
“Given the Saudi regime’s history of jailing critics, planting a spy at Twitter, and brutally murdering a Washington Post journalist, the Saudi regime must be blocked from accessing Twitter account information, direct messages and other data that could be used to identify political opponents or to suppress criticism of the royal family,” Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon said.
In his $44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, he invested billions of his personal wealth. But he also asked some major existing shareholders to roll their stakes into his holding company. Among the shareholders is Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who now is the second largest Twitter shareholder. The kingdom of Qatar, also was part of the deal to acquire the social media network.
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who is also the chairman of a Foreign Relations subcommittee, has asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review the financing behind the Twitter deal.
In recent weeks, quite a few big-name brand companies removed their ads from the social media platform after Musk completed the billion-dollar purchase. Most recently, Oreo pulled ads temporarily. Others who pulled ads are automakers, General Mills, and United Airlines, among others.
Musk is the world’s richest man, and CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, which counts China as a key market and production base. Tesla operates at a factory in Shanghai which accounts for about half of Tesla’s global deliveries last year.
Elon also CEO of rocket and satellite internet company SpaceX, among others.
The billionaire previously suggested that tensions between China and Taiwan could be resolved by handing over some control of Taiwan to Beijing. Musk also said China has sought assurances that he would not offer SpaceX’s Starlink internet service there.
He also proposed Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, while saying SpaceX could not indefinitely fund Starlink services in Ukraine.
You can listen to the interview by Robin Wheeler for more information on the future of Twitter:
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