The Elon Musk-Donald Trump Bromance Is in Full Flower

News & Politics

Donald Trump and Elon Musk have apparently mended fences and are considering a formal ‘advisory role” for the electric car and space entrepreneur in a future Trump administration.

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Where two years ago, Trump was calling Musk a “bulls**t artist,” the two men have reportedly become more friendly, talking several times a month on the phone.

It should be noted at the outset that the reporting by the Wall Street Journal on this story about a bromance developing between Trump and Musk is based on an anonymous source and when questioned directly, Musk says, “There have not been any discussions of a role for me in a potential Trump Presidency.”

But Musk has not denied other claims in the Journal article, including that he had pitched a “data-driven project to prevent voter fraud” to the former president and that he was quietly going around the country speaking to other wealthy voters about not supporting Biden.

The pair have held discussions on immigration, technology and science, including the U.S. Space Force. Their views and interests have grown more aligned, the people said, with Musk calling Trump directly on his cellphone.

Trump has told Musk, one of the world’s wealthiest people, he wants to find a way to get him more involved if he wins in November.

Musk—who has a long history of flouting convention in the business world—has signaled he isn’t interested in simply writing a check to a super PAC, which can accept unlimited amounts of money from donors and is a popular way for the billionaire class to support candidates. Instead, he has elected to use his clout in elite business and technology circles to help defeat Biden by galvanizing the support of influential allies.

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Trump and Musk both flout conventions and don’t care what other people think about them. Can they work together? I wouldn’t bet against them if they did.

Musk was at one time, a fairly middle-of-the-road voter, giving to both parties. But in 2022, he became a Republican because Democrats had “become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them.” Naturally, this put a bullseye on his back, and he’s been dodging hand grenades since then.

Musk and [Nelson] Peltz have told acquaintances they are working on a data-driven project to ensure votes are fairly counted, echoing Trump’s accusations of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Trump’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, has rejected those claims about the 2020 election. Trump’s campaign and its allies lost dozens of lawsuits challenging the results. 

Musk and Peltz described the initiative to Trump in the March meeting, according to a person familiar with that discussion. More details about the antifraud effort couldn’t be learned.

One possible point of friction between Musk and Trump is that Donald Trump doesn’t like electric cars very much. Trump makes many of the same points that other EV critics make, including the serious lack of charging stations, untrained mechanics, the strain on the electric grid, and the potential loss of American jobs to the Chinese EV industry.

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But Musk brings a lot more to the table, including an intimate knowledge of the tech industry. He’s also a proven visionary who thinks outside the box to solve problems.

It’s not a perfect marriage, but for Trump, if it lasts long enough to help get him elected, he won’t complain.

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