In an interview on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk declared, “I do not respect the SEC,” after settling with the government agency in September over a Twitter post accused of constituting “fraud.”
“I want to be clear, I do not respect the SEC, I do not respect them,” Musk proclaimed, prompting the interviewer to reply, “But you’re abiding by the settlement, aren’t you?”
“Because I respect the justice system,” responded Musk.
Elon Musk—while fighting off tears—says that Tesla can't review his tweets because of "the First Amendment" and that he does not respect the Securities and Exchange Commission, which fined him and Tesla $40 million earlier this year.pic.twitter.com/hNH2UK6TmI
— jordan (@JordanUhl) December 10, 2018
During the interview, Musk also discussed the aftermath of the SEC settlement and his online freedom.
Upon being asked whether he’s had any Twitter posts “censored since the settlement,” and whether someone needs to review them before they’re published, Musk declared, “No.”
“The only tweets that would have to be, say, ‘reviewed’ would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock… Yeah, I mean, otherwise it’s, ‘Hello First Amendment’… Freedom of speech is fundamental.”
Musk went on to add, “I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows?… Nobody’s perfect,” and claimed he didn’t “want to try to adhere to some CEO template,” and would “prefer no titles at all.”
The Tesla CEO settled with the SEC in September over a Twitter post where he claimed funding had been “secured” for Tesla to go private, despite this not being the case.
As part of the settlement, Musk and Tesla had to pay a $20 million fine, and Musk was barred from being chairman of the company for two years.
Before settling, however, Musk put out another Twitter post mocking the SEC.
“Just want to that the Shortseller Enrichment Commission is doing incredible work,” he joked. “And the name change is so on point!”