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Why Elon Musk took aim at Bill Gates on Twitter

Elon Musk mocked Bill Gates on social media by comparing him to one Emoji depicting a pregnant man after accusing the Microsoft co-founder of shorting Tesla shares while declaring his commitment to the fight against climate change.

Musk claimed Friday he exchanged text messages with Gates, who he said wanted to “discuss philanthropy opportunities” with the Tesla and SpaceX boss. Musk added that he wasn’t in the mood to work with Gates after the software pioneer confirmed he had “not closed” his $500 million short position on Tesla.

“Sorry, but I can’t take your climate change philanthropy seriously when you have a massive short position on Tesla, the company that is making the biggest contribution to solving climate change,” Musk Gates wrote.

Musk, who is said to be in a deal to take over Twitter, tweeted that the texts were obtained by the New York Times, although the paper did not report them.

The text message exchange was posted by a pro-Musk Twitter account, @wholemarsblog, run by Omar Qazi.

Musk claimed on Twitter that Gates shorted Tesla by half a billion dollars.
Musk claimed on Twitter that Gates shorted Tesla by half a billion dollars.
Rick Davis / SplashNews.com

Qazi and Musk are co-defendants in a defamation and harassment lawsuit filed by Aaron Greenspan, founder of public database Plainsite. Greenspan is a vocal short seller of Tesla who is critical of Musk.

The Post has reached out to Gates officials for comment.

Holding a short position, or “going short,” occurs when an investor is betting that a company’s stock price will go down.

Last year, Gates said the Times: “It is important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone has ever made. And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea.”

An investor who shorts a stock gains if the stock’s value falls. The investor borrows shares of an asset and then sells the borrowed shares to buyers at the market price.

The investor sells it with the intention of buying it back later for less money.

But Gates added that the move to electric vehicles would do little to help fight climate change.

He said what Tesla is doing is “simple stuff, like passenger cars.”

“Basically, we don’t do enough with the hard stuff: steel, cement, meat,” Gates told the Times.

“And unfortunately, the things that people think about – electricity, cars – make up a third of the problem. So we have to work on the two-thirds.”

“If you’re just looking at those short-term metrics and not the green rewards across the board, then you’re missing out on the longest lead time, which is the hard stuff.”

In 2020, after it was revealed that Gates had bought an all-electric Porsche instead of a Tesla, Musk tweeted: “My conversations with Gates were underwhelming.”

Musk and Gates also went back and forth after the philanthropist attacked Musk for his comments denying the coronavirus pandemic.

Musk questioned how Gates could commit to climate change while betting on Tesla's failure.
Musk questioned how Gates could commit to climate change while betting on Tesla’s failure.
Getty Images

“Elon’s position is to maintain a high level of outrageous commentary,” said Gates, whose charity has worked to develop a vaccine and improve surveillance of the disease, told CNBC in July 2020.

“It doesn’t have much to do with vaccines. He builds a great electric car. His rockets work well, so he’s allowed to say those things. I hope he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much.”

In response, Musk quipped, “Billy G is not my lover” — presumably a reference to the lyrics to the Michael Jackson hit “Billy Jean.”

“The rumor that Bill Gates and I are lovers is completely false,” Musk tweeted.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/25/why-elon-musk-took-aim-at-bill-gates-on-twitter/ Why Elon Musk took aim at Bill Gates on Twitter

JACLYN DIAZ

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