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Tesla CEO Elon Musk explains reasoning for being on President Trump’s advisory council, as Uber’s Kalanick drops out


Earlier today, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick dropped off of US President Donald Trump’s advisory council. The reasons cited were because of immigration reform but Kalanick was also targeted for his previous support for Trump, Uber continuing to serve JFK airport during the recent taxi strike and the subsequent #DeleteUber campaign which caused 200,000 people to flee the service and boosted its competitor Lyft to the top of the app charts.

On Thursday, Mr. Kalanick gave his answer, stepping down from Mr. Trump’s economic advisory council. “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration, but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that,” Mr. Kalanick wrote in an email to employees obtained by The New York Times.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is also on that economic advisory council which has similarly hurt his reputation among some– I’d wager far fewer– and has also caused some Tesla Model 3 reservation holders to refund their deposits.

Musk has attended more than a handful of meetings with President Trump and seemed to strangely back Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s successful bid to become Secretary of State, one of many Oil-men Trump put in important positions in his administration.

The introduction to the Trump team may have been helped by his Paypal co-founder and Trump advisor Peter Thiel.

This evening, Musk hopes to set the record straight in a Tweet with a statement embedded below.  He notes what most folks considered – that his beliefs don’t line up with Trump’s and that his goals continue to be to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy [with Tesla] and to make the human race a multi-planetary civilization [SpaceX].

“In December, I agreed to join the Presidential Advisory Forum to provide feedback on issues that I think are important for our country and the world. In tomorrow’s meeting, I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy.

Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration. My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all. I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.”

Image via New York Times

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting