Donald Trump, Looking for Donors, Meets With Elon Musk

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Donald Trump, who’s urgently looking for new donors to help his presidential marketing campaign, met on Sunday in Palm Seashore, Fla., with Elon Musk, one of many world’s richest males, and some rich Republican donors, in response to three individuals briefed on the assembly who spoke on the situation of anonymity to explain a personal dialogue.

Mr. Trump and his group are working to search out further main donors to shore up his funds as he heads into an anticipated normal election towards President Biden. Mr. Trump has praised Mr. Musk to allies and hopes to have a one-on-one assembly with the billionaire quickly, in response to an individual who has mentioned the matter with Mr. Trump.

It’s not but clear whether or not Mr. Musk plans to spend any of his fortune on Mr. Trump’s behalf. However his current social media posts counsel he thinks it’s important that Mr. Biden be defeated in November — and individuals who have spoken to Mr. Musk privately confirmed that’s certainly his view.

With a web value of round $200 billion, in response to Forbes, Mr. Musk might determine to throw his weight behind Mr. Trump and doubtlessly, nearly single-handedly, erase what is predicted to be Mr. Biden and his allies’ enormous monetary benefit over the previous president.

Aides to Mr. Trump didn’t reply to a request for remark. Mr. Musk didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Mr. Musk has lengthy portrayed himself as independent-minded, and like many enterprise leaders he has donated to candidates from each events through the years. Not like different U.S. billionaires, he has not spent closely on a presidential election, and his donations have been pretty evenly break up through the years between Democrats and Republicans. Mr. Musk’s companies, Tesla and SpaceX, have benefited from federal authorities contracts and subsidies.

An individual near Mr. Musk mentioned his relationship with the federal government had traditionally made him cautious about figuring out too intently with one political celebration over the opposite. In 2017, the billionaire famously stepped away from two enterprise advisory councils when Mr. Trump was president over Mr. Trump’s choice to tug out of the Paris local weather settlement.

“Local weather change is actual,” Mr. Musk posted on Twitter in June 2017. “Leaving Paris just isn’t good for America or the world.”

The 2 have had different moments of friction. A number of months earlier than the midterm elections, in the summertime of 2022, he and the previous president traded insults, with Mr. Trump calling him an expletive and Mr. Musk saying it was time for the previous president to “sail into the sundown.”

On the similar time, nevertheless, Mr. Musk was turning into extra open about his choice for the Republican Occasion.

On the eve of the midterms, he instructed his greater than 100 million followers on X — the web site that was referred to as Twitter till Mr. Musk purchased it in 2022 — that they need to vote for a Republican Congress. He has railed towards what he describes because the left’s “woke” agenda and has attacked Mr. Biden over the report variety of migrants who’ve entered america throughout his presidency.

Mr. Musk’s feedback about immigration have grown more and more alarmist. He has steered that the president’s immigration insurance policies threaten the existence of America itself and have pushed American democracy to the brink. He has steered that Democrats are “ushering in huge numbers of illegals” to cheat in elections. There isn’t any proof to assist his declare of mass voter fraud.

“America will fall if it tries to soak up the world,” Mr. Musk posted on X on Tuesday. Earlier within the day, he posted that the Biden administration’s immigration insurance policies amounted to “treason.”

The individual near Mr. Musk, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, mentioned that if he does get behind Mr. Trump, his views about immigration could have been a major motivator.

Mr. Musk has beforehand raised questions over Mr. Biden’s age and as soon as echoed one in every of Mr. Trump’s favourite jabs by claiming the president was “still sleeping” after Mr. Biden didn’t congratulate one in every of his corporations. Mr. Musk has additionally held a grudge towards the president after the White Home didn’t invite Tesla to an occasion on electrical autos in August 2021.

“Let’s not overlook the White Home giving Tesla the chilly shoulder, excluding us from the EV summit,” the Tesla chief government posted on X in December.

Mr. Musk visited the White Home in September to debate issues round synthetic intelligence, in response to NBC News, which obtained customer logs. Mr. Biden and Mr. Musk didn’t meet throughout the go to.

After shopping for Twitter in October 2022, Mr. Musk reinstated Mr. Trump’s account. The previous president had been barred from the platform after the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, a choice that Mr. Musk had beforehand steered was a mistake.

Nonetheless, it was removed from clear that Mr. Musk would assist Mr. Trump’s presidential bid. Mr. Musk had indicated earlier than the Republican nominating contest that he was leaning toward backing Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Mr. DeSantis kicked off his formal candidacy in a live-streamed audio dialogue with Mr. Musk on X final Might, and there was widespread hypothesis {that a} donation from Mr. Musk to the tremendous PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis would comply with. But it surely by no means did.

Even when Mr. Musk doesn’t in the end determine to donate to a pro-Trump tremendous PAC or spend cash in different methods to assist Mr. Trump, his personal megaphone is substantial. Mr. Musk has 175 million followers on X and has a capability like few others in America to form information protection.

Kitty Bennett contributed analysis.