Elon Musk said that just because he tweets something, it “doesn’t mean people will believe it or act on it.” The Tesla CEO took the stand in federal court in San Francisco to defend himself (and the tweets he made in 2018) in a lawsuit filed by a group of the automaker’s shareholders. “I think you can be absolutely honest, but can you be comprehensive? Of course not,” he added in reference to Twitter’s character limits. If you recall, Musk famously tweeted in August 2018 that he was “considering taking Tesla privately for $420” and that he was already able to secure funding. “Investor support is confirmed,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
The CEO later revealed that he was in talks with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which had reportedly expressed an interest in Tesla as part of the country’s attempt to reduce its dependence on oil. However, the deal didn’t materialize, and he later wrote a longer post on the automaker’s website to say it’s staying public.
When CNBC notes that shareholders blamed these “financially backed” tweets for their significant financial losses, prompting them to file a class-action lawsuit against Musk. Tesla shares appear to have remained very volatile in the weeks that followed. However, the manager downplayed the impact of his tweets, saying they don’t necessarily affect stock prices: “There were many instances where I thought if I tweeted something, the stock price would go down. For example, at one point I tweeted that I think the stock price is too high in my opinion… and it’s gone up, which, as you know, is counterintuitive.
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