What Elon Musk Mentioned in Testy Interview on Don Lemon’s New Present


It was uncooked and sometimes tense.

The previous tv anchor Don Lemon’s wide-ranging, testy interview with Elon Musk was launched on-line on Monday morning, touching upon subjects together with politics, significantly the billionaire’s latest assembly with former President Donald J. Trump; Mr. Musk’s reported drug use; hate speech on X, the social media platform previously generally known as Twitter, which he now owns; and extra.

The interview was meant to be the debut episode of a brand new speak present in a partnership between Mr. Lemon and X, however Mr. Musk known as off the deal a day after filming the hour-plus interview at Tesla’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. The primary episode of “The Don Lemon Present” was streamed on YouTube and posted to Mr. Lemon’s account on X.

Within the interview, Mr. Musk mentioned that earlier this month he was having breakfast at an unnamed buddy’s house in Florida when Mr. Trump got here by.

When requested what was mentioned, Mr. Musk mentioned that Mr. Trump did a lot of the speaking and that the previous president didn’t ask for cash or a donation towards his marketing campaign. Mr. Musk additionally mentioned he wouldn’t lend Mr. Trump cash to pay his authorized payments.

Whereas Mr. Musk mentioned he wouldn’t donate to any candidate, he mentioned he would contemplate endorsing one within the last stretches of the race.

“I don’t know but, I wish to make a thought of choice earlier than the election,” he mentioned, and famous that he was leaning away from President Biden. “I’ve made no secret of that,” he added.

If Mr. Musk endorses a candidate, he mentioned, he’ll make an in depth rationalization for his selection.

Elsewhere within the interview, Mr. Musk was adamant that he doesn’t abuse medicine, and spoke about his prescription for ketamine for a “adverse chemical state.”

“Should you’ve used an excessive amount of ketamine, you possibly can’t actually get work executed, and I’ve quite a lot of work,” he mentioned. He famous that 16-hour workdays have been “regular” for him, and that he not often took weekends off.

Mr. Musk appeared visibly aggravated by a direct line of questioning about his showing to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy idea on X.

“I don’t need to reply these questions,” he mentioned. “I don’t need to reply questions from reporters. Don, the one motive I’m doing this interview is since you’re on the X platform and also you requested for it. In any other case, I might not do that interview.”

Mr. Musk additionally appeared to skirt questions on whether or not he had a duty to average hate speech on the platform, and why sure posts had not been eliminated.

“If one thing is unlawful, we’re going to take it down,” Mr. Musk mentioned. “If it’s not unlawful, we’re placing our thumb on the dimensions and we’re being censors.”

The present arrived Monday morning after a heavy promotional push from Mr. Lemon, who teased the interview in a number of locations final week, together with “The View,” within the days after Mr. Musk abruptly scrapped X’s partnership with the previous CNN host.

Earlier than its launch, the boys have been at odds over how the interview went.

Mr. Lemon mentioned in a press release final week that his questions have been respectful and lined many topics. “We had a very good dialog,” Mr. Lemon mentioned. “Clearly he felt otherwise. His dedication to a worldwide city sq. the place all questions might be requested and all concepts might be shared appears to not embody questions of him from individuals like me.”

Mr. Musk, however, felt otherwise. In a put up on X, Mr. Musk mentioned Mr. Lemon’s present lacked originality.

“His method was principally simply ‘CNN, however on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the truth that CNN is dying,” Mr. Musk wrote.

Whereas X had initially agreed to financially assist Mr. Lemon’s present, Mr. Musk’s choice to cancel the partnership blindedsided salespeople at X, and it was the newest self-inflicted enterprise disruption at X in latest months.

In November, Mr. Musk boldly advised advertisers to not spend on his platform, utilizing an expletive to dismiss them, and accused them of “blackmail” after he appeared to endorse an antisemitic conspiracy idea on X, which Mr. Lemon resurfaced throughout Monday’s present. Mr. Musk’s inflammatory feedback prompted quite a few corporations to pause their promoting campaigns on X.

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