- The Washington Times - Friday, January 27, 2023

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say if top administration officials discussed Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop computer during their meeting Friday with Twitter owner Elon Musk.

“I would refer you to Hunter’s representatives on that,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said when asked if the laptop came up during the meeting.

The White House has gone head to head with Mr. Musk in recent months amid the release of the “Twitter Files” that detail the social media platform’s censorship.

In his first installment, Mr. Musk released a deluge of internal company documents showing what led Twitter to suppress posts sharing the New York Post’s story revelations from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop computer that were published just weeks before the 2020 presidential election.

The documents pointed to a company overrun with outside groups, including the Biden campaign, petitioning the company to manipulate speech.

Soon after the documents were released, Ms. Jean-Pierre accused the billionaire free-speech advocate of attempting to draw attention away from a rise in hate speech that she claims has flooded the platform since Mr. Musk took over Twitter in October.

Subsequent installments of the Twitter Files exposed the censorship of conservative voices on the platform and the extent to which federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies worked with Twitter executives to moderate speech, including back-channel communications to flag posts and ban users.

On Friday, Mr. Musk met with John Podesta, a senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and Mitch Landrieu, who oversees the implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the three talked about expanding electric vehicle manufacturing.

“I think the outreach and the meeting says a lot about how important the president thinks the bipartisan infrastructure legislation is and how the Inflation Reduction Act is especially as it relates to EVS and his commitment to that,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said. “I think it’s important that senior members of his team had a meeting with Elon Musk today.”

The meeting took place at Tesla’s lobbying offices in Washington and lasted roughly half an hour.

Under the president’s massive climate, tax and health spending bill, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, owners of Teslas and other electric vehicles are eligible for a tax credit.

The law, which was passed in August, requires that only electric vehicles must be made in the U.S. to be eligible for the tax credits.

Mr. Biden had repeatedly ignored the role of Tesla in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing, only publicly acknowledging Mr. Musk after the CEO griped about being overlooked.

During his time in Washington, Mr. Musk also met with Republican and Democrat members of Congress.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide