Elon Musk suggests that Donald Trump administration may be good for climate change, praises Rex Tillerson

Elon Musk's optimism centres around Rex Tillerson, Mr Trump's controversial foreign affairs pick

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 25 January 2017 08:45 GMT
Donald Trump meets Elon Musk and other other business leaders as he arrives for a meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House
Donald Trump meets Elon Musk and other other business leaders as he arrives for a meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Elon Musk has suggested that Donald Trump's government may actually be good for climate change.

The SpaceX and Tesla founder has tweeted his support for Rex Tillerson, Mr Trump's controversial pick to be his secretary of state. After Mr Tillerson was appointed to the foreign affairs job by only a slim margin, Mr Musk said that he has "potential" to be "excellent" in the job.

In a post directed at The Economist magazine, which had tweeted an editorial praising Mr Tillerson's "integrity", Mr Musk said that he agreed.

"This may sound surprising coming from me, but I agree with The Economist," he posted. "Rex Tillerson has the potential to be an excellent Sec of State."

In later updates, Mr Musk wrote that "Rex is an exceptionally competent executive, understands geopolitics and knows how to win for his team. His team is now the USA."

He also praised Mr Tilllerson's belief that climate change exists and that something should be done about it. He praised the new secretary of state's support for a carbon tax and said that it was "what is really needed to move the needle".

Elon Musk was initially an outspoken opponent of Mr Trump and his campaign. But when the billionaire and reality TV star became president he indicated an interest in working with him, attending his initial "tech summit" at Trump tower and a number of other meetings since, including at the White House.

In another tweet, Mr Musk suggested that he may have heard something in those meetings that gave him the impression Mr Tillerson may be a positive force.

In response to a Twitter user who questioned whether Mr Tillerson, who was boss of oil and gas giant ExxonMobile, actually believed in climate change, Mr Musk encouraged the idea that he should wait and see.

"I'm just saying that we should see what happens first," he wrote. "The actions may be surprising."

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