Leaked screenshots on Twitter showing a conversation between Elon Musk and Bill Gates are real, says Musk.
The news shows that Musk turned down a philanthropic opportunity from Gates due to his short position against Tesla.
“I can’t take your climate change philanthropy seriously,” Musk said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Friday that chat messages in which he turned down an offer from Microsoft founder Bill Gates about “philanthropic opportunities” were genuine. The reason is Gates’ short position in Tesla of US$500 million.
Screenshots of the lyrics were previously shared on Twitter by user WholeMarsBlog, who tagged Musk and asked if they were real.
The origin of the screenshots was not immediately clear, apparently they were first published by “DeFiance Media”. The color of the text boxes indicates that the screenshots were taken on Musk’s phone.
The first screenshot appears to show a text message from Gates confirming the date and time of a meeting, to which Musk responded “great.” Another screenshot shows text purportedly from Gates saying “just landed,” to which Musk replied “great.”
Musk then sent another text message, in which he wrote, “Is $500M Tesla still missing?”
“I’m sorry to say I haven’t disbanded them yet,” Gates responded, according to screenshots, adding, “I’d love to discuss philanthropic opportunities.”
Musk replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t take your climate change philanthropy seriously when you have a massive short position in Tesla, the company that is making the biggest contribution to solving climate change.”
A short position means that an investor is selling a borrowed stock with the intention of buying it back later at a lower price, essentially betting that the value of the stock will fall.
In response to the screenshots being posted, Musk tweeted that they were genuine but that he had not shared them. They were probably made public “through friends of friends”.
Musk added: “I heard from several people at TED that Gates was still $500 million short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly a secret.”
It was not clear when the exchange of messages had taken place. But Musk said on Joe Rogan’s podcast in February 2021 that he heard Gates bet against Tesla in the stock market.
Shortly after Musk commented on the lyrics on Friday night, he also tweeted a Gates meme comparing the Microsoft founder to a pregnant man emoticon, writing: “In case you need to lose a boner fast.”
Musk and Gates, two of the world’s richest people, have had open discussions in the past and disagreed on issues like electric vehicles, COVID-19 and colonizing Mars.
Tesla and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have not yet responded to an Insider request.
This text was translated from English by Luca Schallenberger, you can find the original here.