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Elon Musk and 'anti-Biden brain trust' bonded at exclusive Hollywood Hills dinner, report says

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Elon Musk and 'anti-Biden brain trust' bonded at exclusive Hollywood Hills dinner, report says
  • Elon Musk and David Sacks hosted an elite dinner for billionaires that got political, Puck reported.
  • Musk has been flexing his political influence but has yet to endorse a presidential candidate.

Elon Musk, at an exclusive April dinner, commiserated with a group of billionaires about their distrust in Democratic politicians such as Joe Biden, Puck recently reported.

The outlet said Musk and the venture capitalist David Sacks hosted the private event at Sacks' $23 million estate in the Hollywood Hills. In attendance were the Republican donor Peter Thiel, the former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, and the investment banker Steven Mnuchin, who previously served as the secretary of the treasury under Donald Trump, Puck reported.

Puck said the attendees were part of a "burgeoning anti-Biden brain trust, united by a shared sense of grievance," with the evening's conversation centered on fundraising to defeat Democratic politicians and Musk's concerns about America's migrant crisis.

While Musk has increasingly criticized Biden's policies publicly — especially regarding illegal immigration, which Musk said helped Biden win the presidency, according to the Houston Chronicle — the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX hasn't officially endorsed a political candidate for the coming election.

A representative for the financier Michael Milken confirmed to Business Insider that he attended a dinner hosted by Musk and Sacks earlier this month but said his presence was not a political gesture. Any discussion of politics at the dinner, Milken's representative said, didn't revolve around the endorsement of any particular party or candidate.

Milken, in 1990, pleaded guilty to six securities-fraud charges related to an insider-trading investigation. He was released from prison after two years and was pardoned by then-President Donald Trump 30 years later, in 2020.

Representatives for Musk, Sacks, and other dinner attendees identified by Puck didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from BI.

Puck reported that while the dinner wasn't explicitly pro-Trump, Musk had, in recent weeks, told associates he planned to wade deeper into his growing role as a political influencer and was weighing whether to endorse Trump in this year's election or just make a public statement against Biden.

Though he's hardly a prolific donor as far as billionaires go, Musk's history of political contributions leans Republican. OpenSecrets reported last year that Musk donated $688,350 to federal candidates and party committees from 2004 to 2020, with 50.1% going to Republican causes. The top recipient of Musk's donations was the National Republican Congressional Committee, which had received $246,800 from him since 2004, the campaign-finance watchdog reported.

"In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party," Musk wrote in a tweet in May 2022. He then bashed the Democratic Party, adding: "But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican."

Since then, his rhetoric online has increasingly mirrored extreme right-wing talking points, accusing The New York Times of going "full woke" and saying everyone should "move on" from focusing on racism.

He's also urged "independent-minded voters" to vote Republican to curb a Democratic majority.

In March, Musk met with Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, and said in an interview with the former CNN anchor Don Lemon that he was "leaning away" from Biden.

"While I'll voice my opinion, I think I don't want to put a thumb on the scale monetarily that is significant," Musk told Lemon about his political contributions. "I may, in the final stretch, endorse a candidate, but I don't know yet."

Correction: May 1, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated the charges that Michael Milken pleaded guilty to in 1990. He pleaded guilty to securities fraud but not to racketeering.


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