Donald Trump considers handing Elon Musk an advisory White House position if he wins the election

According to the ‘Wall Street Journal,’ the former president has discussed incorporating the entrepreneur into his team with a formal role in policies related to border security and the economy

Donald Trump
From left to right: Steve Bannon, Elon Musk and Donald Trump, in a 2017 image taken at the White House.Evan Vucci (AP)
Miguel Jiménez

Donald Trump ridicules electric cars and Elon Musk champions them with Tesla. However, this divergence does not seem to have proven an obstacle for both to have developed a growing ideological harmony, to the point that the former president and Republican candidate for the election on November 5 is considering adding the X and SpaceX owner to his team if his bid to return to the White House is successful. This was revealed Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, which reported Trump and Musk have discussed the possibility of the latter playing an advisory role in a hypothetical second presidency.

Musk has sometimes been portrayed as a libertarian, but his shift to the right appears unstoppable. He has displayed support for Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro or Argentina’s Javier Milei, participated in an event that included the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, and the leader of Spanish far-right party Vox, Santiago Abascal, and during the 2022 U.S. midterm elections he openly called for a vote for the Republican Party. After taking control of Twitter, he not only readmitted the former president to the social platform, but also opened the doors to extreme right-wing hoaxes and conspiracy theories, which he himself has frequently spread. He scornfully rails against woke ideology and relentlessly attacks President Joe Biden, even if he has to resort to fake news to do so.

Musk’s relationship with Trump has had its ups and downs, but now appears to be a bed of roses, according to The Wall Street Journal. The New York daily states that the hypothetical role of the entrepreneur has not been fully fleshed out and may not materialize at all, but that Trump has talked to him about ways to assign him a possible formal role so that he has influence over policies related to border security and the economy — two issues on which Musk has repeatedly spoken out.

According to the same publication Musk — along with billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, an activist who has waged an unsuccessful shareholder battle at Disney — has also briefed Trump on a plan they have developed to invest in a data-driven project to prevent voter fraud. Peltz and Musk have also informed Trump of an ongoing campaign in which the Tesla chief and his political allies are organizing meetings of powerful business leaders from across the U.S. and trying to convince them not to support Biden’s re-election.

Talks on those topics took place at a March meeting at Montsorrel, Peltz’s Palm Beach mansion located near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. It was an appointment at which other billionaires participated and that was reported on by The New York Times, but without the details of the conversations having been revealed.

During Trump’s presidency, Musk participated in meetings of business leadership groups at the White House, but withdrew from them as a sign of disagreement with the then-president’s decision to renege on commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Support from billionaires

The former president has been regaining favor with numerous billionaires who turned their backs on him after the January 6, 2021 assault on Capitol Hill. Peltz himself then publicly regretted voting for Trump. Last March, however, he said he would vote for the Republican because he was concerned by the 81-year-old Biden’s mental state. Peltz turns 82 next month.

Last week Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman, one of Wall Street’s most relevant figures, announced he would vote for the former president. He also distanced himself from Trump after the Capitol riot, acknowledged the election result, and called for a peaceful transfer of power, but has since pivoted. “The dramatic rise of antisemitism has led me to focus on the consequences of upcoming elections with greater urgency,” he said in a statement forwarded to the digital publication Axios. “I share the concern of most Americans that our economic, immigration and foreign policies are taking the country in the wrong direction. For these reasons, I am planning to vote for change and support Donald Trump for President. In addition, I will be supporting Republican Senate candidates and other Republicans up and down the ticket,” he added.

Musk, for his part, has spread conspiracy theories that the assault on the Capitol was staged and has come out in defense of those prosecuted for the insurrection. The businessman seemed to show more sympathy in the Republican primaries for the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, to whom he lent his social network for the launching of his presidential campaign in a conversation he hosted himself, although it turned out to be a fiasco. He also seemed at times to commune with businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, now unreservedly devoted to Trumpism. Once Trump’s path to the nomination was clear, Musk dedicated himself to the cause of helping the former president defeat Biden.

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