In July 2018, Musk attacked British diver Vern Unsworth, who had dismissed the Tesla chief’s efforts to help the rescue mission for the 12 boys as a ‘PR stunt’ in a widely seen interview on CNN.
Musk, without providing any justification or explanation, referred to Unsworth as ‘pedo guy’ in a since-deleted tweet. ‘Pedo’ is short for pedophile.
Unsworth told AFP he had not reviewed the tweets in full and had only heard about them.
But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: ‘If it’s what I think it is yes.’
Musk also denied giving donations to a political action committee dedicated to helping the Republicans maintain control of the house.
This was despite the Federal Election Commission releasing annual filings this week showing Musk as one of the top 50 donors.
While Musk has described himself as ‘half Democrat, half Repulican’ in the past, it struck many as hypocritical that a green energy CEO would donate nearly $40,000 (£30,700) to help keep in power a political party that has largely ignored or denied climate change.
Despite the fact that publicly-available FEC documents prove his donations to the PAC, Musk tweeted afterward that ‘reports that I am a top donor of the GOP are categorically false’.
‘I am not a top donor to any political party,’ he said.
In the past few months, Musk has become embroiled in a series of spats with the news media.
He has chastised reporters for focusing on accidents of autonomous cars instead of their safety potential, and accusing one news organisation of being ‘relentlessly negative’ about Tesla.
Shares were pummeled in May after Musk abruptly cut off questions from Wall Street analysts over Tesla’s spending plans.
In an earnings call, he berated analysts for asking ‘boring’ questions and sidestepped questions about Tesla’s massive capital needs.
The billionaire branded one industry analyst a ‘boring bonehead’ during the bizarre session, saying another’s ‘questions are so dry they are killing me’.
He also alleged ‘sabotage’ at Tesla’s operations by an employee, who responded by claiming to be a ‘whistleblower.’
The Tesla CEO wrote a lengthy note to all of his staff stating that he had discovered someone working intently on causing malicious damage within the company’s ranks.