Steve Bannon Says Elon Musk Is Owned by Chinese Communist Party

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Steve Bannon Says Elon Musk Is Owned by Chinese Communist Party

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Steve Bannon Says Elon Musk Is Owned by Chinese Communist Party

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has called Tesla founder Elon Musk "a complete phoney" and accused him of being in hock to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Bannon made the comment on the Tim Pool Daily Show podcast after Musk tweeted that he was "open to the idea" of acquiring Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The tech lender went under on Friday, stranding billions of dollars of investors' and companies' money, in the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Amid the chaos of the bank's collapse, Min-Liang Tan, CEO of Singaporean technology company Razer, wrote on Twitter that Musk should consider buying SVB and turning it into a digital bank. Musk retweeted the message, adding, "I'm open to the idea."
This combined image shows Tesla founder Elon Musk (left) in Stavanger, Norway on August 29, 2022, and (right) former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 3, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. Bannon has accused Musk of being "owned" by the Chinese Communist Party.

When asked for his reaction, Bannon said that Twitter, which Musk bought for $44 billion in October 2022, had blocked "anti-CCP" voices. He accused the social-media platform's CEO of being "owned by the Chinese Communist Party."

Arguing that Tesla was the only thing of Musk's "of real value," Bannon said "he uses it for margin loans. He sells the stock. The Shanghai joint venture is a hundred percent controlled by the CCP.

"This is why he never goes after the CCP," added Bannon, "This is when they had the protest. They had the protest about the lockdowns of COVID. He will not do it.

"Elon Musk is a total and complete phoney," Bannon said. "He is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Chinese Communist Party."

Tesla relies a great deal on its auto factory in Shanghai and the Chinese market for its electric vehicles. On the 100th anniversary of the CCP's founding, Musk also praised China's "economic prosperity."

During the discussion with Bannon, the anchor of the podcast, Pool, raised how the CCP had warned Musk not to discuss the theory that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.

"They wanted him to take down the tweets he did the first time," said Bannon. "Now, he didn't take them down, but you notice he didn't have any more up there after that."

As of Saturday morning, Republican Florida representative Matt Gaetz's tweet of the Bannon exchange had received 483,000 views.

It is not the first time that Bannon has criticized Musk. More than four years ago, after the 51-year-old had walked back comments that he was going to take Tesla private, Bannon accused him of having an "emotional breakdown."

"This is the level of maturity you have with these people," Bannon told CNN in August 2018.

Newsweek has emailed Tesla for a response from Musk to Bannon's criticism, and has also reached out to Bannon.
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