White House denounces Elon Musk’s anti-Semitic message, but considers abandoning contracts with SpaceX “insane”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, reacts during a conversation with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London, Britain, Thursday, November 2, 2023.

Kirsty Wigglesworth | Reuters

The White House will not walk away from Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Starlink technology, although it has condemned Musk for pushing anti-Semitic comments on social media, the National Security Council spokesperson said Monday. John Kirby.

“There are innovations in the private sector that we would be foolish to walk away from,” Kirby responded when asked by a reporter if the government was reconsidering its contracts with Musk’s rocket builder and broadband Internet provider by satellite.

“I am not aware of any specific effort to address our concerns about his rhetoric through the manner in which his companies provide support to our national security system,” Kirby said.

However, just because the federal government has no plans to move away from Musk’s technology “does not mean we accept, endorse, or in any way condone the anti-Semitic rhetoric he has pushed “Kirby added.

John Kirby, White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator, speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2023.

Léa Millis | Reuters

Last week, Musk agree with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The theory asserted that the Jewish people pushed a “dialectical hatred against whites.” Musk replied: “You are telling the real truth. »

In response to these comments, major companies like Apple and Disney suspended their advertising spending on X.

Decoupling the federal government from Musk’s businesses could prove complicated, however.

The Pentagon has ordered Starlink technology to provide internet coverage to Ukraine as the country’s defensive war against Russia rages.

In September, Musk’s SpaceX won a separate contract with the Pentagon for Starshield, a military version of Starlink that is still under development.

Earlier this month, SpaceX obtained permission of the Federal Aviation Authority to conduct a test launch of its Starship/Super Heavy rocket in Texas. Saturday’s liftoff resulted in a brief flight, before the rocket self-destructed.

In the past, senators have examined the Defense Department’s reliance on Musk’s technology.

SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket is ready to launch from the company’s Boca Chica launch pad on an uncrewed test flight near Brownsville, Texas, United States, November 15, 2023.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Musk’s anti-Semitic post last week prompted a swift response from the White House. “We condemn in the strongest terms this abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred, which goes against our fundamental values ​​as Americans,” spokesperson Andrew Bates said Friday.

“We all have a responsibility to bring people together against hate and an obligation to speak out against anyone who attacks the dignity of our fellow Americans and undermines the safety of our communities,” Bates said.

During Monday’s press briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she had nothing to announce as to whether the White House Or President Joe Biden would suspend their accounts on X.

She also would not say whether the White House had personally spoken to Musk about the remarks.

But she said the White House would continue to denounce “these kinds of hateful, hateful comments.”


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