- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called for former President Donald Trump to quit politics, escalating a war of words between the influential billionaires with their eyes on dominating the social media marketplace.

“I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter. “Dems should also call off the attack — don’t make it so that Trump’s only way to survive is to regain the presidency.”

Mr. Musk’s commentary was posted in response to a video of Mr. Trump’s remarks at a political rally in Alaska hammering Mr. Musk after he publicly sought to walk away from taking over Twitter.

Mr. Trump pitched the audience on his own social platform Truth Social and he said he previously told people Mr. Musk would not go through with the Twitter acquisition.

“You know he said the other day, ‘Oh, I’ve never voted for a Republican.’ I said, ‘I didn’t know that, he told me he voted for me,’” Mr. Trump said at the rally on Saturday. “So he’s another bull—— artist but he’s not going to be buying it.”

Mr. Musk disputed that he told Mr. Trump he voted for him in a tweet, saying it was not true.

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Last month, he said he voted Republican for the first time during a special election in June to elect Rep. Mayra Flores, Texas Republican, who flipped a Democratic seat in south Texas. Mr. Musk shared news of his vote on Twitter and his prediction of a “massive red wave” in the coming midterm elections.

After Mr. Musk blasted Mr. Trump on Twitter on Monday evening, he faced criticism from the former president’s fans.

Conservative radio host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo replied to Mr. Musk with a list of policies Mr. Trump promoted and then asked, “What – on policy – did you have an issue with?”

“Yeah, but too much drama. Do we really want a bull in a china shop situation every single day!?” Mr. Musk said in reply on Monday evening. “Also, I think the legal maximum age for start of Presidential term should be 69.”

Mr. Musk is enamored with a different Republican — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump would be 82 at end of term, which is too old to be chief executive of anything, let alone the United States of America,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter. “If DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win — he doesn’t even need to campaign.”

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Mr. Musk is also still feuding with Twitter’s lawyers over the terms of the acquisition agreement. Twitter’s lawyers have argued that Mr. Musk’s effort to end the deal is “invalid and wrongful,” according to paperwork filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Musk published a meme featuring himself laughing alongside a caption saying if Twitter takes him to court they will have to “disclose bot info in court,” which has been a sticking point prompting his desire to walk away from the acquisition.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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