Elon Musk Gave a “Fireside Chat” During Private GOP Retreat in Wyoming

Fresh off his botched bid to buy Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made an appearance Tuesday at a Republican retreat hosted by House minority leader Kevin McCarthy in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he delivered a “fireside chat” with prominent GOP figures ahead of the midterms, according to Fox News. The event reportedly took place on the same day that Representative Liz Cheney, an anti-Trump Republican from Wyoming, was defeated by her pro-Trump primary challenger, Harriet Hageman.

Representative Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican, promoted Musk’s participation in the closed-press gathering on Twitter, sharing a photo of the two shaking hands and quoting Musk as saying, “We should be actively inspiring great things.” Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department spokesperson under Donald Trump, who attended the mountain-resort gathering, also posted a photo with Musk, writing, “Bucket list #selfie Thank you @elonmusk.”

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For years, Musk’s partisan affiliations have been ill-defined. Back in May, Musk tweeted that he voted for Democrats in the past “because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate,” he added, “so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.” He went on to claim that a “dirty tricks campaign” would be waged against him for throwing his support behind the GOP. That cryptic warning came just ahead of an Insider report that SpaceX had paid a flight attendant a $250,000 severance agreement in 2018 to settle a sexual-misconduct claim against Musk. (The CEO told the outlet that the story was a “politically motivated hit piece.”)

In June, Musk revealed that he cast his first Republican vote for Representative Mayra Flores of Texas in a special election. But in a Tuesday tweet, the billionaire attempted to portray himself as a “moderate” who is not loyal to either party. “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!” he wrote.

Politically, Musk has made significant inroads with conservative lawmakers and media figures in his belief that social media companies censor users, an alleged phenomenon that he promised to resolve at Twitter. Some conservatives have even described Musk as the potential savior of free speech and the First Amendment. But after Musk recently announced that he’d be bowing out of the Twitter deal, some conservatives, including Trump, expressed disappointment, with the former president writing Musk off as “another bullshit artist.” Twitter is now taking the billionaire to court for violating his $44 billion acquisition agreement to buy the company.

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