White House confronted over Elon Musk security clearance and alleged drug use

Tech mogul requires security clearance as his companies have a string of government contracts

Martha McHardy
Tuesday 09 January 2024 18:04 GMT
White House confronted over Elon Musk security clearance and drug use

Elon Musk’s links to the US government are under scrutiny following allegations of drug use.

It comes following a Wall Street Journal report that detailed concerns of some executives and board members at Mr Musk’s companies, including Tesla and SpaceX, regarding the billionaire’s alleged use of illegal drugs — including LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, and mushrooms.

The report claimed Mr Musk had used such drugs at private parties around the world, where nondisclosure agreements are sometimes required to enter.

During an Air Force One press gaggle with White House adviser John Kirby on Monday, reporters questioned whether Mr Musk’s alleged drug use could compromise his Pentagon security clearance.

The tech mogul’s companies, including SpaceX, which is certified to launch military spy satellites, have a range of government contracts that require Mr Musk to have a Department of Defense (DOD) security clearance.

Elon Musk’s links to the US government are under scrutiny following allegations of illegal drug use (AFP via Getty Images)

Drug use is prohibited for anyone with a clearance.

Mr Musk, who has spoken openly about his use of marijuana and ketamine, has denied allegations that he has used illegal drugs.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr Musk has said publicly that he has a prescription for ketamine.

Mr Musk’s security clearance is reportedly now potentially facing a review by the DOD following drug use allegations, Fox Business News senior correspondent Charles Gasparino said on Monday, citing Wall Street executives with ties to the Biden Administration.

“Wall Street execs w ties to Biden Admin say @elonmusk’s security clearance will get a review by @DeptofDefense after drug use allegations,” Mr Gasparino wrote.

The review has not yet been launched.

If charges pan out, Mr Gasparino added, Mr Musk will likely receive probation on his DOD security clearance.

A reporter asked about the status of Mr Musk’s security clearance during a White House press gaggle on Monday.

“There was some reports over the weekend about Elon Musk and some concerns about his drug use and the behavior that he’s been exhibiting,” the reporter said. “Some of his board members are concerned. [Are you] aware of that reporting? He has some contracts with the government. Any reaction to it?

“We wouldn’t comment on that,” Mr Kirby said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also declined to comment.

Elon Musk smokes cannabis live on the Joe Rogan Experience (Youtube/Roe Rogan Experience)

Mr Musk’s security clearance was placed under review in 2018 following an appearance on a podcast with Joe Rogan in which he smoked cannabis.

Following the incident, Mr Musk reportedly “got into trouble with NASA for smoking marijuana on the Joe Rogan show, raising red flags for some about the business impact of Musk’s conduct and causing employees at SpaceX to be randomly tested for drugs,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“After that one puff with Rogan, I agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing,” Mr Musk said on X in response to the recent report. “Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol.”

Mr Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro also told the Journal that Mr Musk is “regularly and randomly drug tested at SpaceX and has never failed a test.”

The Independent has contacted the DOD, Tesla, SpaceX and Elon Musk for comment.

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