The billionaire, now in charge of Twitter, shared unverified information about the suspect’s motive.
Elon Musk is unconventional to his DNA.
The CEO of Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report has shown many times that he’s determined to be different. And he often seems most comfortable when he takes a position that contrasts with widely held opinions.
Take the obvious example of Tesla. For many years, the co-founder of the world’s No. 1 producer of premium electric vehicles was alone in betting on EVs, seeing them as the future of the auto industry.
But the more people mocked Musk, the more ambitious he became. In 2015, he said Tesla would be valued at $700 billion by 2025. At the time, the group had not produced a single consumer vehicle.
That car, the Model 3 sedan, arrived in 2018-2019. And Tesla’s valuation reached Musk’s prediction by December 2020. The company reached a market value of $1 trillion in October 2021, before falling back. The Austin group is currently valued at nearly $722 billion.
His predictions drew ridicule from the business community and other automakers — and now they are chasing his success in the industry. Tesla’s rise has made him the richest man in the world.
Musk Pushes Fake News
He has just confirmed this tendency once again, by distancing himself somewhat from the condemnations of the Oct. 27 violent attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The attack came a few days before the midterm elections.
“The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories,” former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted on Oct. 29. “It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.”
Musk seems somewhat at odds with this theory, which attributes the attack to America’s deepening political divisions and to hate speech by some politicians. He indicates that might be another version of the story.
“There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” the billionaire responded to Clinton.
He provided a link to an article in the Santa Monica Observer, which attributes the attack on Pelosi to an argument gone wrong.
‘Notorious for Publishing False News’
TheStreet can’t verify the Observer’s reporting and won’t repeat it here. The Santa Monica Observer has been known for publishing false information on a number of occasions., including a story about Hillary Clinton passing away and her body double being sent to debate Donald Trump in one of the 2016 presidential candidate debates.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Santa Monica Observer is “notorious for publishing false news.”
Musk’s tweet unsurprisingly sparked strong reactions on Twitter, of which he became the owner on Oct. 27. For many users, the billionaire is spreading disinformation because the Santa Monica Observer provides no evidence to support its report.
“I don’t know Elon, are you sure it’s really Hillary you’re replying to?” asked Jon Favreau, Barack Obama’s ex-speechwriting director.
“Elon is already using his Chief Twit role to spread disinformation. That sucks. I thought you wanted to promote peace and love?” added another Twitter user.
“Check you sources @elonmusk, ‘the “Santa Monica Observer,’ owned by onetime City Council candidate David Ganezer, is notorious for publishing false news. In 2016, for example, it claimed that Hillary Clinton had died and that a body double had been sent to debate Donald Trump,” posted one user.
Musk’s tweet comes at a time when the new owner of Twitter promised advertisers that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” He told advertisers this Oct. 27.
The entrepreneur announced the establishment of a council to review banned accounts and promised that no decisions would be made before that panel convenes.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he said on Oct. 28.
Police Account of the Attack on Paul Pelosi
According to the police, a man broke into the San Francisco home of the Pelosis early on Friday, demanding to see her. He then violently assaulted her husband with a hammer. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time, according to the Capitol Police.
Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken to a San Francisco hospital, where he underwent surgery to treat a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm and hands, a spokesperson said in a statement.
Nancy Pelosi’s husband should make a full recovery, according to the doctors.
The suspect, David Depape, 42, was also taken to the hospital. He is suspected of attempted murder, assault with a weapon, elder abuse and burglary.
The incident comes less than two weeks before the midterm congressional elections and raises fears that more violence could erupt before Nov. 8.
DePape’s motivations are still under investigation by the FBI and the San Francisco police, but according to initial information, he is a follower of far-right conspiracy theories. In particular, he believes that the 2020 election was stolen, a theory backed by former President Donald Trump.
According to CNN, he is the author of two blogs that contain hate speech against minorities, women and Jews. Reports say DePape may also be a follower of QAnon theories.