US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday Elon Musk’s ties to foreign countries are “worthy” to be investigated amid questions about Saudi’s acquisition of a stake in Twitter as part of the tycoon’s blockbuster takeover.
“I think Elon Musk’s collaboration and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth looking at,” Biden said after a long pause to a reporter’s question.
“Whether he does something inappropriate or not, I’m not suggesting that… That’s all I’ll say,” he said.
Reports surfaced last month that the Biden administration was weighing a national security assessment of Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, in part because of a key group of investors backing the buyout.
The investors include Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia and the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.
Two US senators have called for a vetting of the Twitter deal to prevent the platform from accessing user information that could endanger human rights defenders and critics of the Saudi government.
“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in suppressing political expression and influencing American politics, are now the second largest owner of a major social media platform,” said Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy. .
Musk has also responded to what is seen as a favorable public stance toward Vladimir Putin despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, most notably by repeating the Russian president’s words about the conflict.
And he has raised eyebrows by suggesting that the self-ruled island of Taiwan should become part of China — an attitude welcomed by Chinese officials, but deeply enraged Taiwanese officials.
Critics point to the industrial ties linking Musk to China, which is increasingly ties to Washington.
The tycoon’s electric car company Tesla has ramped up production at its Chinese factory in Shanghai to record levels.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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