On Wednesday, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted a series of comments via Twitter that condemned President Donald Trump‘s travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries and then proceeded to delete them almost immediately.
Musk referred to the executive order as a “Muslim immigration ban” and added that it is expected from a functioning democracy to encounter disagreement over certain government policies and they would normally not deserve a public statement. However, the message read, the travel ban had taken that place, stressing it was simply “not right”, as reported by Tech Crunch.
When called out for deleting the messages, Musk explained that those were earlier drafts he had published a week before.
Wednesday’s statements were decidedly more affirmative than similar comments Musk had issued in the past. The use of words was strong, specially in relation to those terms the Trump administration has directly taken an issue with, like calling the order a “ban” or saying it is directed at Muslims. The President himself has talked about it as a ban and others close to his cabinet like Rudy Giuliani disclosed that Trump sought his advice to create the order, wanting to know what was a legal way to introduce a “Muslim ban”.
Playing nice with the Trump administration
Musk had been representative of the attitude other tech industry CEOs generally adopted. They have mostly been willing to engage in dialogue and working on Trump’s manufacturing initiative. He had a meeting with Trump’s business advisory council last week.
In prior comments posted on the social site in the days approaching the meeting, Musk had written about the ban more carefully, saying it wasn’t “the best way to address the country’s challenges.” He also said that a lot of people that was being negatively affected by the order were actually “strong supporters of the U.S.,” according to Tech Crunch.
Ties with the Trump administration resulted for some of the tech companies in customer backlash, including Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who was forced to resign from the council after a social media campaign with the title #DeleteUber started going around.
As far a the automaker company Tesla, some customers have already claimed to have cancelled orders for their Model 3, the all-electric luxury car that is under initial production and is planned to be delivered by the end of the year.
Musk informed he would continue to work on the council because he believed it was doing good.
Following the last week’s meeting, Musk commented that he made sure the immigration subject made it to the agenda although it wasn’t previously up for discussion. He said he also brought up the issue of climate change.
“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,” said Musk in a statement.
The controversy has pushed many companies including Tesla and SpaceX as well as other major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple among other 97 to sign an amicus brief protesting the immigration ban.
The deleted tweets would have been the first to strongly convey how clearly opposed to the ban the business magnate is.
Other business executives sitting in the advisory council alongside Musk include General Motors’s Mary Barra and IBM’s Ginny Rometty. Meanwhile, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, Dell’s Michael Dell and Ford’s Mark Fields are involved with the manufacturing initiative proposed by Trump.
Source: Tech Crunch