Fox News host Brian Kilmeade put Elon Musk on a pedestal Friday as few anchors have done before, lauding the eccentric billionaire owner of X as the smartest man in the United States during coverage of Musk’s visit to the southern border.
Kilmeade, as “Fox & Friends” covered Musk’s livestream Thursday from Eagle Pass, Texas, made that bold proclamation while seeming to dismiss Musk’s previous pastimes as suddenly beneath him.
“It is a problem in our country, and this is a guy addressing a problem,” Kilmeade remarked of migrants crossing the border. “He’s not hanging out at SpaceX touring rockets or Tesla finding out about the new electric car or his tunnel program or electrodes in his brain.
“The smartest man in our country sees this as a problem and, dare I say, might have a solution that could solve the problem, ’cause he’s not a politician,” Kilmeade declared.
Musk’s trip and X livestream featured an appearance from Texas Congressman Tony Gonzalez, who was present despite the current fully underway congressional session in Washington.
At one point, the “Fox & Friends” segment cut to a replay of part of the livestream where Musk discussed the migrant problem on the U.S.-Mexico border with Gonzalez.
“What we’re seeing here are, in some cases, some pretty extreme individuals coming though,” Musk said to Gonzalez, mentioning a migrant with face tattoos that featured an under-the-eye teardrop. According to Musk, the tattoo marked him, without question, as a murderer — something Gonzalez was in full agreement with.
“People are scared,” Gonzalez said. “American citizens are scared. They just don’t feel safe. They don’t know who these people are. They don’t want to assume, but they don’t want to not assume if children — it’s a safety issue.”
“Fox & Friends” then pulled up a social media reply from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning why Gonzalez was in Texas with Musk as important hearings and votes were underway in Washington.
“She does not realize how stupid she sounds,” said Kilmeade, who argued that the migration problem was so affecting citizens that it made sense for Gonzalez to be participating in the photo-op — but not because it had anything to do with joining the smartest man among us.
Kilmeade is not alone in his misguided perceptions of Musk. The billionaire is often credited as the brains behind the successes of SpaceX and Tesla instead of the brawn.
While Musk was a founder of SpaceX, the company would have gone under six years later had it not been for a $1.5 billion contract it won in 2008 from NASA. In Tesla, Musk was merely a funding source, albeit a major one. A year after the electric car company launched in 2003, Musk invested more than $30 million and was installed as chairman of the company.
But it’s unclear how Musk’s business experience would help him craft a winning idea on how to curb the influx of migrants on the country’s southern border with Mexico.
In August, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 36% more migrants on the border with Mexico than it had in July of this year, a total of 181,059. That marked an 82% increase from June, according to the agency.
Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena told members of the media on Friday that the surge of migrants to the border has increased even further in recent weeks, resulting in significant trade delays as U.S. officials increase security checks on incoming traffic. The suspension of some freight-rail operations was also cited due to a surge in migrants hopping on cargo trains.
Barcena said Mexican authorities were considering more “assisted returns” of migrants to countries including Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia.
Watch video of the full “Fox & Friends” segment at the top of this story.