Donald Trump says he ‘helped’ Elon Musk as president and confirms recent meeting

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Former President Donald Trump connected Monday continued his courtship pinch tech billionaire Elon Musk, saying during a CNBC question and reply that he helped Musk successful unspecified ways erstwhile he was successful nan White House.

Trump was asked astir Musk during a call-in quality connected CNBC’s “Squawk Box” greeting show. Co-host Joe Kernen mentioned a New York Times report published past week that said Trump had precocious met pinch Musk and a fewer able Republican donors arsenic he was looking for money to salary for his campaign.

“I did,” Trump responded, referring to nan meeting. 

Kernen followed up: “What did Elon Musk show you? You deliberation you yet get his support successful immoderate way, whether it’s conscionable verbal aliases monetary?” 

Trump said he didn’t cognize and past referred to unspecified thief that he said he had fixed Musk. 

“Look, I’ve been friends pinch him complete nan years. I’ve helped him erstwhile I was president. I helped him. I’ve liked him,” Trump said. 

It’s not clear what thief Trump was referring to. Musk, nan CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has for years benefited from authorities assistance to his companies, including regulatory credits for Tesla, tax credits for Tesla customers and rocket-service contracts for SpaceX. 

The courting of Musk has continued successful different ways. Trump and his friends want Musk to speak astatine nan Republican convention successful July, CNBC reported past week. 

Musk has not said which campaigner he’ll support for president. He told CNBC past year that he voted for President Joe Biden successful 2020, though he besides told biographer Walter Isaacson that he didn’t ballot astatine each successful nan wide predetermination that year. 

Musk said past twelvemonth he wouldn’t ballot for Biden complete Trump successful 2024, and he has lobbed insults astatine Biden, astatine 1 constituent calling him a “damp [sock emoji] puppet successful quality form.”

Last week, aft news collapsed astir Musk’s gathering pinch Trump, Musk posted connected X that he was not donating money to either statesmanlike candidate. 

The result of nan statesmanlike title could person a awesome effect connected Musk’s businesses. Musk is engaged successful at slightest 11 regulatory aliases ineligible fights pinch nan Biden management aliases independent national agencies, and regulatory experts opportunity a 2nd Trump word could mean those fights get resolved successful ways that are much favorable to Musk.

Trump said connected CNBC that he does person 1 quality pinch Musk. 

“We evidently person opposing views connected a insignificant taxable called electrical cars,” he said. Trump has said that he opposes national rules designed to ramp up electrical conveyance production. 

Trump said astir Musk for little than 15 seconds. He past changed nan taxable and said for 3 minutes consecutive without mentioning Musk again, covering topics specified arsenic electrical cars, his polling numbers successful Michigan, nan pre-pandemic system and Alaska lipid drilling. 

Biden hasn’t shown an eagerness to meet pinch aliases talk Musk. He did not induce Musk to a White House acme connected electrical vehicles successful 2021 — an omission that Musk has since noted often — and he did not meet pinch Musk erstwhile nan billionaire visited nan White House successful September, according to nan Biden administration. 

Elsewhere successful nan Monday interview, Trump said astir nan anticipation of cutting spending connected Social Security and Medicare and astir the thought of banning TikTok. 

David Ingram

David Ingram covers tech for NBC News.