Elon Musk accuses Bill Gates of shorting Tesla on Twitter, then mocks him

The Tesla chief mocked his fellow entrepreneur with the pregnant man emoji.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Elon Musk and Bill Gates.1, 2

On Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to insult Microsoft founder Bill Gates by sharing a post comparing the latter to the pregnant man emoji with the caption "in case u need to lose a boner fast." The tweet was a response to accusations made the previous day by the SpaceX entrepreneur that Gates was shorting Tesla after leaked texts surfaced of him turning down a philanthropic opportunity with Gates.

Leaked texts

On Friday, a Twitter user asked the Tesla chief whether the leaked texts were real to which Musk replied: "Yeah, but I didn't leak it to NYT. They must have got it through friends of friends."

He then added: "I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half-billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it's not exactly top secret." This is likely what resulted in the offensive tweet of Saturday morning.

The leaked texts showed the following conversations between the two powerful men: 

"Do you still have a half-billion-dollar short position against Tesla?" texted Musk.

"Sorry to say I haven't closed it out. I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities," Gates replied. 

Musk fired back: "Sorry, I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change."

Shorting a stock is a reference to when investors are betting that the price of the asset will fall. IE could not verify whether this text exchange between Gates and Musk was real. 

Past flattery

However, in the past, Gates has often flattered Musk. In an NYT opinion piece published last year, he said: "It's important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone's ever made. And you know, underestimating Elon is not a good idea."

The two men have a lot in common being entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and some of the richest men in the world.

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