Musk’s Twitter takeover is largely financed by Saudi and Qatari money, and given Musk’s curious pro-Putin turn, national security officials are wondering what these international oligarchs might be getting in return here.
We noted yesterday that there was an odd, emerging pro-Russia consensus among Silicon Valley tech oligarchs, odd because they would not seem to have a dog in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. It is not weird for there to be an emerging consensus among these types — there will always be groupthink among this small cabal of very wealthy men, Elon Musk is the wealthiest and therefore the alpha, so the boys club will often take their cues from Musk. But why has the alpha dog Musk reportedly spoken with Vladimir Putin and gone grandstanding for a favorable outcome for Russia in the conflict?
LATEST: Biden officials are discussing whether to subject Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter and Starlink https://t.co/nuvDpfnTDo— Bloomberg (@business) October 21, 2022
Apparently, top U.S. national security officials are wondering this very question themselves. Bloomberg reports that those officials are considering a security review of the Twitter transaction. And there may be the scent of a rat there, as some of his major investors are Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, and the (slaver) nation of Qatar.
“US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin,” according to Bloomberg. “They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.”
(A quick note on the Starlink thing: Yes, Musk has provided Starlink satellite coverage for Ukraine since the invasion, yes this is noble, but yes he has also threatened to cut it off. He has asked the Pentagon to foot the bill, and that’s probably how this will end.)
Pretty good troll tbh— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2022
This being an Elon Musk story, there has to be some stupid tweets involved, so let’s got to that tape. As Business Insider reports, the chumminess between Musk and the Kremlin continues. Above we see Putin’s security council chair Dmitry Medvedev pile on to a running joke in the British press about prime minister Liz Truss’s tenure not lasting as long a head of lettuce. Musk chimes in that it’s “Pretty good troll tbh.”
This is completely normal behavior for a guy who is soon to own this platform and who already owns critical communications satellite infrastructure pic.twitter.com/Z99ASOzGLI— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) October 21, 2022
Musk then ratchets up his ass-kissing by saying “BTW, how’s it going in Bakhut?,” referring to one of the few Ukrainian areas Russian has managed to control. Medvedev responds, “See you in Moscow on the Victory Day!”
Twitter’s stock price dipped a little on the news of a potential national security investigation of their deal with Musk, but it's looking more and more as if this deal may actually happen in the week or so to come. Independent analyst Frederic Boucher of Susquehanna International Group tells Bloomberg, “I think the most probable event at this point is the deal closes next week. But this is Musk, and predicting his moves has been hazardous.”
And that’s kind of one of the reasons that a security review could be justified. Remember when Musk was calling off the deal in July, supposedly because of a bot problem? Funny, he’s made little mention of any bot problem since his about-face to complete the purchase earlier this month. So something changed.
Musk himself admits he’s “obviously overpaying” at $44 billion. So there may be some other motive deserving scrutiny here, maybe a motive of Musk, maybe his international oligarch investors, or maybe his other friends in high places.
Image:MYKONOS, GREECE - JULY 16: Elon Musk seen on a speedboat in Mykonos, Greece. 16 July 2022. (Photo by MEGA/GC Images)