Elon Musk Says He Turned Down Bill Gates’ Tesla Philanthropy Short

Elon Musk Says He Turned Down Bill Gates’ Tesla Philanthropy Short

  • Leaked screenshots of texts between Elon Musk and Bill Gates are real, according to Musk.
  • The texts show Musk turning down a philanthropic opportunity from Gates because of the latter short-circuiting Tesla.
  • “I can’t take your climate change philanthropy seriously,” Musk told Gates, according to the texts.

Elon Musk said Friday that texts showing he turned down a philanthropic opportunity with Bill Gates because of the latter’s short stance on Tesla were legitimate.

Screenshots of the texts were shared on Twitter by an account called Entire catalog of Mars who tagged Musk and asked if they were real.

The origin of the screenshots was not immediately clear, although the color of the text message boxes suggests they were taken on Musk’s phone.

The first screenshot appears to show a text from Gates confirming a date and time to meet, to which Musk replies “Great.” Another screenshot shows text, supposedly from Gates, saying “just landed” and Musk responding “cool.”

Musk then sent a follow-up text message, writing, “Do you still have a half billion dollar short position against Tesla?”

“Sorry to say I didn’t close it,” Gates replied, according to the screenshots, adding, “I’d like to discuss philanthropy opportunities.”

Musk replied, “Sorry, but I can’t take your climate change philanthropy seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”

A short position generally means that an investor sells a stock they have borrowed with the intention of buying it back later at a lower price, essentially betting that the value of the stock will fall.

In response to the screenshots, Musk tweeted that they were real but he hadn’t disclosed them, adding that they must have been taken “by friends of friends”.

Musk added, “I heard from several people at TED that Gates still had half a billion short against Tesla, that’s why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.”

It was unclear when the text exchange took place, but Musk said on Joe Rogan’s podcast in February 2021 that he heard Gates was betting against Tesla on the stock market.

Shortly after commenting on the texts on Friday night, Musk also tweeted a Gates meme that compared the Microsoft founder to the pregnant man emoji and wrote: “in case you need to lose an erection quick.”

Musk and Gates, two of the richest people in the world, have openly argued in the past, disagreeing on topics including electric vehicles, COVID-19 and the colonization of Mars.

Tesla and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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