Elon Musk engaged in a Twitter spat with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she rebuked billionaires.
Elon Musk engaged in a Twitter spat with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she rebuked billionaires and delivered an indirect rebuttal to the Tesla Inc. chief executive’s tweet saying that the Democratic Party “has been hijacked by extremists.”
Musk, who has agreed to buy Twitter Inc. for $44 billion, tweeted about Democrats to his nearly 89 million followers Thursday, hours after tweeting a cartoon showing liberals sprinting far to the left since 2008.
Ocasio-Cortez, a leader of young progressive Democrats who has 12.9 million Twitter followers of her own, never named Musk. She rejected his assertion about the party. In a separate tweet, she blamed hate crimes on “some billionaire with an ego problem” who “unilaterally controls a massive communication platform,” though she didn’t make clear to whom she was referring.
But Musk responded to that tweet, saying “Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy” followed by a smiley-face emoji. Ocasio-Cortez replied on Twitter: “I was talking about Zuckerberg, but ok,” in an apparent reference to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and then deleted that response 57 seconds later, per an archive of deleted politician tweets kept by ProPublica.
She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk has supported members of both parties. His plan to take over and remake Twitter, however, has been cheered by many Republicans who contend conservative views have been censored, something that Twitter and other technology giants deny. But the deal has raised the ire of Democrats, who’ve raised concerns that the world’s richest person would loosen restrictions intended to prevent the spread of disinformation and hate speech.
On Thursday, several Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee said they might consider calling Musk to testify about his plans.
The back-and-forth appeared to be prompted by a Musk tweet on Thursday, in which he said, “I strongly supported Obama for President, but today’s Democratic Party has been hijacked by extremists.” That was hours after he tweeted a cartoon showing liberals sprinting to the left since 2008.
Without naming Musk, Ocasio-Cortez addressed his contention in a series of tweets.