WASHINGTON — President Biden called Wednesday for a federal investigation of billionaire businessman Elon Musk, who recently purchased Twitter with a stated goal of restoring free-speech principles.
“Do you think Elon Musk is a threat to US national security?” a Bloomberg News reporter asked Biden at his third solo White House press conference since taking office. “And should the US — and with the tools you have — investigate his joint acquisition of Twitter with foreign governments, which include the Saudis?” .
“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” Biden answered. “Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that it’s worth being looked at.
“How?” another journalist followed up.
“There’s a lot of ways,” Biden said without elaborating.
Musk, who also owns electric car maker Tesla and space-exploration firm SpaceX, formally took over the social network last month and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal retained his long-standing stake in the company.
Biden’s own press office has said that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is not under federal investigation. His other companies receive large US government subsidies — though Biden snubbed Tesla last year from an electric vehicle expo at the White House, apparently because it lacks a unionized workforce.
The president urged an investigation of Musk despite likening inquiries into his own family’s overseas business relationships to “comedy” as possible Republican majorities in Congress pose the threat of oversight.
As vice president and during the years before he was elected president, Joe Biden met repeatedly with his son Hunter and brother James’ international associates — including from China, Russia, Mexico, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, according to records from a laptop formerly owned by Hunter Biden.
The first son is currently under investigation for possible tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying and money laundering.