Here's why Elon Musk won't step down from Trump's advisory board


elon musk with steve bannon

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Elon Musk defended his decision to remain on President Donald Trump's business advisory council over the weekend in the wake of criticism.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO has come under fire for his proximity to the Trump administration. Musk has received criticism online and some customers claim to have cancelled their Model 3 orders

But Musk has defended his choice to remain on Trump's business advisory council on Twitter. On Sunday, he said activists should push for more moderates, presumably referring to himself, to advise Trump.

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On Saturday, he said the immigration ban was the first topic on the council's agenda at his request. He also said he used the meeting to discuss climate change.


"I believe this is doing good, so will remain on council & keep at it. Doing otherwise would be wrong," he wrote on Saturday.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from President Donald Trump's business advisory council after receiving criticism both internally and externally for working with the Trump administration.

Just a few hours after news of Kalanick's decision broke, Musk said he won't be leaving the committee in the wake of Trump signing his immigration ban. A federal judge issued a temporary nationwide hold on the ban Friday night.

Musk's statement on the decision reads in part:

"In tomorrow's meeting, I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy. Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration."


It's a carefully worded statement that highlights Musk's whole approach to the executive order. Although Musk has released several statements relating to the immigration ban barring immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, none of them directly denounce Trump's executive order in full:

Musk generally takes the approach of hedging his statements. He did the same in November when Trump was running for President when he said, "I feel a bit stronger that he is probably not the right guy. He doesn't seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States."

He seems to have changed his general approach in the wake of criticism over the weekend by providing more context as to why he was working with the Trump administration. Musk did not elaborate on what was said regarding the immigration ban or climate change in the meeting.

This may not be the first time Musk has used his White House access to discuss climate change. He reportedly pushed for a carbon tax during a meeting on US manufacturing, but was met with little to no support.

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