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Trump needs Elon Musk to talk at Republican conference

Former President Donald Trump and his allies on the Republican National Committee need to persuade Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to talk on the GOP conference in July, individuals conversant in the matter informed CNBC.

Republican leaders imagine that giving Musk a talking slot on the conference might result in a few of his followers boosting what has been the social gathering’s historically lagging help amongst younger grownup voters on Election Day, stated a supply with information of that perception.

Trump is anticipated to be confirmed on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, occasion because the Republican presidential nominee, organising a rematch of his 2020 contest in opposition to President Joe Biden within the election this November.

Musk’s potential speaker function was disclosed after he reportedly met with Trump and a gaggle of rich Republican donors final weekend in Palm Seaside, Florida. It’s not clear if Trump or his allies have raised the concept with Musk.

That sitdown got here days earlier than the previous president’s landslide victories within the Tremendous Tuesday primaries, which led his final main challenger, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, to drop out of the nomination contest.

The individuals who spoke to CNBC for this story have been granted anonymity to explain non-public conversations.

If Musk, who additionally owns the social media web site X, does seem on the conference, it will be an implicit, and presumably express, endorsement of Trump’s candidacy.

Peter Thiel, who’s Musk’s long-time monetary backer and fellow PayPal co-founder, served the same goal when he spoke on the 2016 Republican Nationwide Conference, which first nominated Trump for president.

One of many sources conversant in the matter famous that curiosity from RNC management to have Musk communicate on the conference had already been mentioned with Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair who resigned on the committee’s Houston assembly on Friday.

That supply stated that new RNC chair Michael Whatley doubtless can be in favor of inviting Musk to talk, as will the brand new RNC co-chair Lara Trump, the previous president’s daughter-in-law.

Representatives for Trump and the RNC didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Musk didn’t reply to a request for remark.

It stays to be seen if the RNC will invite Musk, or if he needs to attend the conference.

Musk, who has a reported internet price of almost $200 billion, this week stated that he doesn’t plan to donate cash to the campaigns of both Trump or Biden.

However an individual conversant in final weekend’s Florida assembly stated that a few of Trump’s advisors are hoping that Musk will begin supporting the Republican candidate.

Musk has not publicly dominated out donating cash to a pro-Trump political motion committee, or a nonprofit group supporting the previous president’s insurance policies.

Musk beforehand voiced help for the Republican presidential candidacy of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who suspended his marketing campaign in January after dismal main outcomes in opposition to Trump.

Musk additionally hosted an event final 12 months on Twitter Areas for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s looking for the White Home as an unbiased candidate.

Musk didn’t endorse Trump within the Republican’s two prior campaigns, in 2016 and 2020.

And the 2 have clashed up to now.

In June 2017, Musk deserted a Trump White Home advisory council, citing the withdrawal of america from the Paris local weather accord.

In July 2022, Trump blasted the mega-billionaire for saying he had by no means voted for a Republican earlier than casting a poll earlier that 12 months for a GOP candidate in Texas for a particular Home election.

“He stated the opposite day, ‘Oh, I’ve by no means voted for a Republican,’ ” Trump stated at that rally. “He informed me he voted for me, so he is one other bulls— artist.”

Musk inside days tweeted,  “I do not hate the person, nevertheless it’s time for Trump to hold up his hat & sail into the sundown. Dems must also name off the assault — do not make it in order that Trump’s solely approach to survive is to regain the Presidency.”

Whereas Musk has continued to characterize himself as “reasonable,” his public political commentary has been transferring rightward for years.

And his social and political commentary in posts on X have develop into extra bombastic since late 2022, when he led a leveraged buyout of the social media firm, then referred to as Twitter.

Earlier in 2022, Musk stated that he would vote for Republicans over Democrats within the congressional midterm elections that 12 months.

In a sequence of tweets on Tuesday, as voters round america have been casting ballots in presidential primaries, Musk baselessly accused Biden of “treason,” whereas bashing his dealing with of immigration in america.

When he took management of X, Musk stated that he would reinstate Trump’s account on the platform, which Twitter’s prior management had banned for all times within the wake of the lethal riot by Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

That riot disrupted for hours a joint session of Congress that was assembly to verify the Electoral School victory of Biden.

Trump, who subsequently launched his personal social media firm, Reality Social, beforehand had stated that he would not return to X even when Musk reversed the ban.

Trump made an exception to that vow final summer time, when he posted his jailhouse mug shot taken after he was booked on Georgia state felony costs associated to his try and undo his loss to Biden in that state’s presidential election in 2020.

That publish is linked Trump’s marketing campaign web site, which permits individuals to donate to his reelection effort and a to political motion committee that pays for his mounting authorized payments

Thiel, a former Fb board member, informed The Atlantic final fall that he doesn’t plan to financially again any Republican candidates, together with Trump.

Thiel additionally stated in that interview that Trump’s presidential administration, which spanned January 2017 to January 2021, was “crazier” and “extra harmful than I believed.”

“They could not get probably the most fundamental items of the federal government to work,” Thiel informed the media outlet. “In order that was — I feel that half was possibly worse than even my low expectations.”

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