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Elon Musk says Donald Trump calls him up out of the blue

Erin Snodgrass   

Elon Musk says Donald Trump calls him up out of the blue
  • Elon Musk has said former President Donald Trump sometimes calls him up out of the blue.
  • The Tesla CEO made the comments during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Elon Musk may be influencing Donald Trump's stance on electric vehicles during random phone calls between the Tesla CEO and former president.

Musk suggested as much during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday after investors voted to reinstate his multibillion-dollar pay package.

During a question-and-answer segment of the meeting, Musk was asked about the 2024 Republican presumptive nominee.

"Donald Trump has been a big critic of electric vehicles, but last week, he surprised us by saying he's a big fan of Tesla and a big fan of you," the man said, garnering applause. "What did you tell him?"

Trump has long railed against EVs, painting them as inefficient and harmful to American autoworkers. Trump previously vowed to undo President Joe Biden's EV policies and warned of an economic "bloodbath" should the likely inevitable transition to EVs continue.

But in a confusing turn of events, Trump seemed to switch his tune at an Arizona rally earlier this month, telling the crowds that he was a "big fan of electric cars."

"I'm a fan of Elon," Trump said, according to a Tesla trade media outlet. "I like Elon, I like him, and I think a lot of people are going to want to buy an electric car."

Trump's apparent about-face could be because of his growing chumminess with Musk — a relationship the billionaire tech leader seemed to confirm on Thursday.

"I can be persuasive," Musk said in response. "I have had some conversations with him, and he does call me out of the blue for no reason. I don't know why, but he does."

Musk said the former president was "very nice" when he called. The Tesla CEO added that he'd tried to sell Trump on the climate benefits of EVs, as well as the patriotic perks.

"America is the leader in electric cars," Musk said Thursday.

Trump's changing tune on Tesla might also have something to do with the influence of his friends, Musk added.

"I think a lot of his friends now have Teslas," Musk said. "They all love it. And he's a huge fan of the Cybertruck."

Both men have publicly aligned themselves with the other in recent weeks: Musk defended Trump hours after he was convicted on 34 felony counts, calling the matter "trivial." Trump, meanwhile, discussed offering Musk an advisory role in his administration should he win in November, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. The outlet also reported that Musk and Trump had breakfast together in March with their sons X and Barron Trump, along with the billionaire Nelson Peltz, during which they criticized Biden.

A representative for Trump didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.


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