President-elect Donald Trump has so far been appointing climate change deniers and creationists to his transition team. So, the logical next person to add was obviously SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, right. Wait, what?
Yes, Trump’s team announced yesterday that Musk would be joining his advisory council, alongside Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. They will be part of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, meeting with the future President (shudder) to advise on his economic agenda.
Musk went to Trump Tower as part of a meeting of tech leaders with Trump, which also included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
“America has the most innovative and vibrant companies in the world, and the pioneering CEOs joining this Forum today are at the top of their fields,” Trump said in a statement. “My Administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland.”
The statement added that the forum would provide their “individual views” to Trump on how government policy can impact economic growth and job creation, and would “provide direct input to the President from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic and non-partisan manner.”
At the moment, we can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing. On the one hand, Musk (and others) might be a voice of reason for Trump, and maybe they can even convince him climate change is real, an area Musk is obviously very active in through Tesla and Solar City. On the other hand, it suggests Musk is willing to fall in line to appease the President-elect.
That’s probably not the case, though. At the start of November, before the election, Musk said in an interview with CNBC that Trump “doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.” He was also listed as a donor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In October last year, Musk also said he hoped Trump “Doesn’t get the nomination of the Republican party,” so it’s safe to say he’s probably not his biggest fan. Hopefully, Musk – and others – being this close to the President-elect might be a good thing. Or at least, a less worse thing.