September 8, 2022

Elon Musk Predicted “World War III” in Just-Released Text Message

Never a dull moment.

Slow Your Roll

Today in news that seems stranger than fiction: a possibly out-of-context text message, sent by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, in which the mercurial billionaire claims he was reconsidering his deal to buy Twitter because of the possibility of “World War III.”

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Musk made the comment to one of his Morgan Stanley lenders in early May — a mere two weeks after agreeing to buy Twitter for a cool $44 billion.

During the end of oral arguments in Twitter’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, lawyers on both sides revealed jarring evidence, including that Musk had been in contact with a high-ranking whistleblower. And, on the flip side, that he was worried about a global war breaking out.

“Let’s slow down just a few days. Putin’s speech tomorrow is really important,” the SpaceX and Tesla CEO wrote to Michael Grimes, Morgan Stanley’s head of global technology investment banking, per comments read aloud by Twitter lawyer Bill Savitt. “It won’t make sense to buy Twitter if we’re heading into World War III.”

As Insider notes, Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro claimed the text was taken out of context, and said that the full exchange between his client and the Morgan Stanley executive would be filed on the court docket next week. Spiro specifically called the Twitter lawyer’s read-along of the Musk text “utter nonsense.”

Context, Please

The Insider report also describes the back-and-forth between Musk’s defense and Twitter’s attorneys as something of a he-said, she-said, with the Twitter side arguing that the Tesla CEO only wanted to withdraw from the deal for personal financial reasons.

Musk’s attorneys argued, in turn, that their client changed his mind about the deal after speaking to former Twitter head of security Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who claimed there were substantial privacy issues at the social media company and that Musk had been misled by its leadership about them.

“[Twitter’s] theory about what really happened,” Spiro said, “isn’t what really happened.”

Whether Zatko’s claims can be used in Musk’s countersuit is now in the hands of a judge — and you’d best believe it’s only going to get juicier from here.

READ MORE: Elon Musk and Twitter Trade Barbs at Wide-Ranging Hearing [The Wall Street Journal]

More Musk lawsuits: Racketeering Lawsuit Accuses Elon Musk of Pumping Up Dogecoin Value

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