Former President Donald Trump labeled Tesla CEO Elon Musk as a “bullshit artist” at his Alaska rally on Saturday, referring to Musk pulling out of his deal to buy Twitter as well as his claims about voting Republican. Here are some of the times that ultimate hypemaster Musk proved Trump’s characterization correct.
Former President Donald Trump had some choice words for Tesla CEO Elon Musk at his rally in Alaska on Saturday. Musk recently called off his $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter claiming that the company failed to disclose details about the number of bots on the platform.
During the Save America rally, Trump said: “One of our highest priorities under a Republican Congress will be to stop left-wing censorship and to restore free speech in America. And go out, by the way while I’m here and sign up now, for Truth Social. It’s hot as a pistol and you see that I called that one, right? Elon. Elon!”
Trump added: “He’s got himself a mess, you know, he said the other day, ‘I’ve never voted for a Republican.’ I said I didn’t know that. He told me he voted for me. So he’s another bullshit artist but he’s not going to be buying it, although he might later. Who the hell knows what’s going to happen? He’s got a pretty rotten contract. I looked at his contract, not a good contract. Sign up for Truth. We love Truth.”
As Trump points out, Musk has a habit of making grand claims that regularly fail to materialize. Here are a few of these claims:
1: Tesla Will Have 1 Million Robotaxis Operating by 2020
In 2020, Musk claimed that his electric car company would have 1 million operational robotaxis on the road by the end of the year. Musk claimed that Tesla would be able to use its “Full Self-Driving” tech to develop self-driving robotaxis that could drive people to their destination without any assistance from human drivers. Of course, this has not come to pass.
Functionality still looking good for this year. Regulatory approval is the big unknown.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 12, 2020
Since then, Musk has changed his prediction to say that instead of “1 million robotaxis by the end of the year,” there would be “1 million people in Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta,” by the end 2022.
However, not all Tesla owners have purchased the FSD feature, and those that have appear to be at greater risk compared to other vehicles with similar cruise control features. The Associated Press recently reported:
Tesla’s figure and its crash rate per 1,000 vehicles was substantially higher than the corresponding numbers for other automakers that provided such data to The Associated Press ahead of NHTSA’s release. The number of Tesla collisions was revealed as part of a NHTSA investigation of Teslas on Autopilot that had crashed into emergency and other vehicles stopped along roadways.
Breitbart News has also reported extensively on the 200 various crashes involving Tesla vehicles and the company’s FSD software, which is currently being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2: 1,000 Solar Roof Panels Produced Per Week by the End of 2019
In 2019, Musk predicted that the company would be producing approximately 1,000 solar roof panels per week at its gigafactory. Since then, the company appears to have virtually paused all production of solar panels due to supply issues, leaving many customers without any actual roofing
Spooling up production line rapidly. Hoping to manufacture ~1000 solar roofs/week by end of this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 30, 2019
Electrek reported on the case of one customer, Ryan Prijic, who had tesla start his solar roof installation by removing his existing roof and building the “dry-in” — a waterproof temporary roof with a protective film over the plywood before installing the actual roofing material. Prijic was told installation would happen within eight weeks — but was later informed that the installation was unlikely to happen before the end of the year, well past the guaranteed waterproof period of the dry-in.
3: Tesla Cars Will Automatically Call Tow Trucks to Fix Issues
In 2019, Musk announced that Tesla vehicles would soon be able to detect vehicle malfunctions and automatically call tow trucks to their current location for repairs or towing. Musk stated:
The next thing we want to add is if a car detects something wrong — like a flat tire or a drive unit failure — that before the car has even come to a halt, there’s a tow truck and service loaner on the way.
This, of course, never came to fruition. Add to that, due to the design of Tesla’s vehicles the cars cannot be towed in a traditional manner. Tesla’s Model 3 vehicles for instance generate power when the wheels spin, meaning that towing can result in damage to the engine.
Tesla’s cars must be transported on a flatbed to avoid damage. You will also have to call for a tow truck yourself, as the vehicles are not able to complete this operation autonomously, as Elon hoped.
In one recent incident, a Tesla driver was stranded after his car’s Netflix app crashed the entire vehicle’s system. A far cry from a car that call for help by itself!
— dolly parton holding a giant rifle (@dollypillled) July 5, 2022
4: $420 Funding Secured to Take Tesla Private
In 2018, Musk infamously tweeted that he was taking Tesla private at $420 per share and had funding secured to do so.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Shortly after the announcement, Musk backed down stating that he would not be taking the electric car company private, writing a lengthy post about why he had made such a sudden change. The post came shortly after a damning report by the New York Post featuring quotes from Tesla insiders which described the company as a “sh*t show” under Musk. From building a production line in a tent to produce 5,000 cars a week, 4,300 of which needed reworking, to Musk facing an SEC investigation over his “funding secured” tweets, Tesla faced some tough months.
Musk was eventually sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission which alleged that he committed securities fraud. Musk finally agreed to an SEC settlement after initially refusing and both he and Tesla paid a $20 million fine; but in February of this year, it was reported that Musk was issued another subpoena by the SEC which was attempting to determine whether he had complied with the settlement agreement.
5: Brain-Computer Interface to Treat Strokes, Cancer, Available in 4 Years
In 2017, Musk stated that his brain-computer interface company, Neuralink, would have an implantable brain interface that could be used to treat issues such as brain injuries caused by strokes, cancer lesions, or congenital defects. Musk told Yahoo News: “We are aiming to bring something to market that helps with certain severe brain injuries (stroke, cancer lesion, congenital) in about four years.”
Since then, Neuralink has yet to run successful human trials for its technology. In fact, the company was accused of subjecting monkeys to illegal mistreatment and “extreme suffering,” as part of its animal trials.
Business Insider gained access to a draft regulatory complaint expected to be filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week. The complaint by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) alleges that the group obtained access to records showing that monkeys used in Neuralink trials experienced “extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants during the experiments.”
The PCRM claims to have gained access to over 700 pages of documents such as veterinary records, necropsy reports, and more via a public-records request at the university. The records are linked to the 23 monkeys owned by Neuralink which were experimented upon at the UC Davis facility from 2017 t0 2020.
According to Jeremy Beckham, a research advocacy coordinator with the PCRM, of the 23 monkeys only seven survived and were transferred to a Neuralink facility in 2020 after Neuralink ended its relationship with UC Davis.
These are just a few examples of Musk’s claims that fail to materialize that barely scratch the surface of the ultimate hypemaster’s PR machine. Read more about Musk’s failed promises at Breitbart Tech here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan