Speaking to CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday, Elon Musk refused to walk back comments he made recently about billionaire investor George Soros that critics, including the Anti-Defamation League, have noted are full of antisemitic tropes.
Musk, as usual, relied on his familiar claim that he is a defender of “free speech,” and stood by the remarks. He also denied any antisemitic intent, describing himself as “like a pro-semite.” Ironically, earlier in the conversation Musk repeatedly denied that the neo-Nazi who committed the mass shooting in Allen, Tx on May 6 was a white supremacist.
But first, Soros. On Monday Musk, apparently angry that Soros’ investment firm recently dumped every share of Tesla it owned, compared Soros to the Marvel Comics character Magneto. Journalist Brian Krassenstein replied to Musk, pointing out that like Magneto, Soros is a holocaust survivor who is “attacked nonstop for his good intentions which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with this political affiliations.”
“You assume they are good intentions. They are not. He wants to erode the very fabric of civilization. Soros hates humanity,” Musk replied.
Faber of course noted all of that when he brought it up. Musk’s response: “I said he reminds me of Magneto, like, calm down people, let’s not make a federal case out of it.”
“You said he ‘wants to erode the very fabric of civilization’ and that he ‘hates humanity,” Faber countered.
“That’s right, that’s my opinion,” Musk said.
“OK but why share it?” Faber asked. Now, Faber didn’t object to what Musk said in any substantial way. Instead, his questioning was limited to why Musk can’t just keep such views private.
“I mean, uh, freedom of speech, I’m allowed to say what I want,” Musk said.
“You absolutely are, but I’m trying to understand why you do, because you have to know it’s gonna, it puts you in the middle of the partisan divide in the country, makes you a lightning rod for criticism,” Faber said. “I mean do you like that? People say ‘oh he’s an antisemite,’ I don’t think you are.”
“No, I’m definite,” Musk said. “I’m like a pro-Semite.”
Musk shut down this line of questions when he said, “we don’t want to make this a George Soros interview,” to which Faber replied, “God no,” before compliantly changing the subject.
Watch the clip at the top of the page now.
Earlier in the show, Faber brought up the conspiracy theories and false statements Musk made about Mauricio Garcia, the neo-nazi mass shooter in Allen, Texas. Specifically, Musk has falsely claimed there is no evidence for Garcia’s widely documented beliefs, and he has suggested the shooting was some kind of staged attack.
Asked about these comments by Faber, who it must be noted didn’t push back on Musk’s falsehoods, Musk once again denied that Garcia, a well-documented neo-Nazi, was a white supremacist.
Watch that exchange below: