Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is defending his decision to stay on the Trump Administration’s economic advisory council. According to CNNMoney, Musk is “one of 18 business leaders” who sits on the council.
In the wake of President Trump’s controversial travel ban that put a temporary ban on immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries, some members of the council have been facing backlash. Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, recently withdrew from the council, as CNNMoney reported.
As the Los Angeles Times describes, some Uber customers even began deleting the Uber app from their smartphones. Although Musk has been vocal about his differences of opinion with the Trump administration, he has been signaling that he won’t be following in Kalanick’s footsteps.
Tesla’s Elon Musk says he guided meeting between Trump and senior business advisers to discuss the travel ban https://t.co/A420tUWghX
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) February 4, 2017
As the Inquisitr reported at the time, after President Trump signed the controversial executive order on immigration, Musk voiced his opposition. In a tweet, Musk said that the ban “was not the best way to address the country’s challenges.”
The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2017
Having been born in South Africa, Musk is an immigrant himself. Ahead of a recent meeting at the White House, Musk also explained that he joined the council this past December to provide input on issues he feels are important. Musk further explained that attending council meetings does not mean he automatically agrees with all of the policies of the administration.
Regarding the meeting at the White House: pic.twitter.com/8b1XH4oW6h
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2017
After the meeting, Musk tweeted that he brought up the issues of both climate change and immigration. According to Musk, per his request, the issue of the travel ban went from not being discussed to being “first and foremost” on the itinerary. He also said that by remaining on the council, he is “doing good,” and quitting the council “would be wrong.”
In addition, I again raised climate. I believe this is doing good, so will remain on council & keep at it. Doing otherwise would be wrong.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2017
According to CNNMoney, although Musk is one of the council members who has received “flak” for his participation, he believes “it’s better to be on the inside.”
The travel ban was once again in the news over the weekend, when U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled to block it. According to the Guardian, The US appeals court has now decided to dismiss a request by the Justice Department to reinstate the ban.
“The ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco made the ruling early on Sunday morning, and asked those challenging the ban to respond to the appeal filed by the Trump administration late on Saturday night, and the justice department to file a counter-response by Monday afternoon.”
According to Chris White of the Daily Caller, the customer base of Tesla, an electric automaker, is “mostly liberal.” By remaining on the council and voicing his objection to certain policies, White writes how Musk is working to keep Tesla customers satisfied and establish a relationship with President Trump. Both President Trump and Musk share the desire to general a “business environment” that would allow for the creation of “more factories inside the U.S.,” per White.
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) February 4, 2017
Tesla recently had a big victory when a probe into the company’s autopilot system was closed. The investigation stemmed from a tragedy that occurred in Florida in May of 2015, when an Ohio man lost his life after colliding with a tractor trailer while using his Tesla Model S in autopilot mode. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who conducted the investigation, failed to find any defects with Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving feature.
SpaceX is a company that “designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft,” according to their website. Musk is also known for his big dreams of colonizing Mars, and hopes to send humans there by 2024, according to Engadget. NASA has announced a goal to put humans on Mars sometime in the 2030s.
Musk, a 45-year-old billionaire, ranked No. 21 on Forbes’ list of the “Most Powerful People in the World” for the year 2016.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]