Trump praises Musk’s purchase of Twitter, says platform now in ‘sane hands’
Robert X. Cringely, Jr./NYT
President Obama meets with billionaire entrepreneur and investor Elon Musk in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 18, 2015. (Photo: Carlos Osorio/Reuters
President Barack Obama, joined by billionaire entrepreneur and activist Elon Musk, met for 10 minutes in the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Wednesday to discuss the economic importance of renewable energy.
The meeting came as part of Obama’s push to create jobs and grow the economy by diversifying and promoting clean energy jobs in the manufacturing sector. Obama used his meeting, during which he thanked Musk for his support, to call for the continued promotion of the U.S. solar industry and investments in energy efficiency.
Obama praised the clean energy entrepreneur for his work to push for new clean energy technologies, including batteries that store clean energy generated from solar panels.
But he also took the opportunity to praise Musk’s purchase of Twitter — which is being investigated by federal authorities, according to reports this week.
“I want to thank Elon Musk for his leadership in the solar business,” Obama said. “It’s inspiring to see how he’s been able to turn a technology that seems daunting into a massive business.”
Obama also called for Congress to create a “level playing field for the solar industry” and called on it to “stand up” to “corporate interests” trying to block clean energy production.
It was the first time Obama had spoken to Musk on the record since the Tesla chief executive made a controversial announcement on Twitter that he would buy the social media company at $420 a share from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.
The deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, has drawn scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
Musk revealed the plans in a tweet Sunday. “After 12 rounds of negotiations, I am thrilled to announce that @Jack and I have agreed to purchase Twitter for $420 million in cash from Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey,” he wrote.
Musk has maintained that the deal is not conditional on Twitter becoming profitable. In a letter to Twitter on Monday, Musk said Twitter