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Elon Musk says Donald Trump called him out of the blue

Elon Musk says Donald Trump called him out of the blue
Elon Musk says Donald Trump called him out of the blue

 


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

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

“Donald Trump has been a big critic of electric vehicles, but last week he surprised us by saying he was a big fan of Tesla and a big fan of you,” the man said, to applause. “What did you say to him?”

Trump has long attacked electric vehicles, describing them as inefficient and harmful to American autoworkers. Trump previously pledged to reverse President Joe Biden's electric vehicle policies and warned of an economic “bloodbath” if the likely inevitable transition to electric vehicles continued.

But in a confusing turn of events, Trump appeared to change his tune at a rally in Arizona earlier this month, telling the crowd he was a “big fan of electric cars.”

“I’m a fan of Elon,” Trump said, according to Tesla media. “I like Elon, I like him, and I think a lot of people will want to buy an electric car.”

Trump's apparent change of heart may be due to his increasingly friendly relationship with Musk, a relationship the billionaire tech leader appeared to confirm on Thursday.

“I can be persuasive,” Musk replied. “I've had a few conversations with him, and he calls me out of the blue for no reason. I don't know why, but he does it.”

Musk said the former president was “very nice” when he called him. The Tesla CEO added that he tried to convince Trump of the climate benefits of electric vehicles, as well as the patriotic benefits.

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

Trump's change in attitude toward Tesla might also have something to do with the influence of his friends, Musk added.

“I think a lot of his friends now own Teslas,” Musk said. “They all love him. And he's a big fan of the Cybertruck.”

The two men have publicly aligned themselves with each other in recent weeks: Musk defended Trump hours after he was convicted on 34 counts, calling the case “trivial.” Trump, meanwhile, considered offering Musk an advisory role in his administration if he wins 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, as well as billionaire Nelson Peltz, during which they criticized Biden.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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