Never one to shy away from a social or political hot potato, Tesla head Elon Musk made headlines Friday for pressing Twitter leaders over a unearthed – yet still accessible – 2016 tweet from the Hillary Clinton campaign pushing a since-debunked allegation regarding then-candidate Donald Trump and a Russian bank, which he says amounts to “misleading disinformation,” as Fox Business reports.
Musk’s remarks were made in response to a message from a fellow user of the social media platform asking why the Clinton campaign tweet was allowed to stand, given the false representations it makes.
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
The user who sought clarification from Musk wrote, “@elonmusk. I have reported this tweet as misleading disinformation to the powers that be at @twitter. I would be interested to know if, when you receive control over the company, anything was done with this at any level. Pls advise soonest.”
Answering the curious Twitter user, Musk agreed with his conclusion, declaring, “You are absolutely correct. That tweet is a Clinton campaign hoax for which their campaign lawyer is undergoing a criminal trial,” a reference to the John Durham-led prosecution of attorney Michael Sussmann, which is currently underway.
Sussmann was indicted last September on a charge of lying to the FBI when he approached the FBI with supposed evidence of a connection between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank and stated that he was not representing any particular client, when in fact, he was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign, as The Hill reported.
As revealed by various filings in that case to date, researchers working from Clinton at the time expressed heavy skepticism about the validity and quality of the so-called proof of such a link, ultimately determining that it was “not technically plausible” and “user created.”
Former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified at Sussmann’s trial this week that his agency probed the data meant to establish the connection, ultimately finding that “there was nothing there,” according to Fox News.
As such, it is difficult to argue with the mercurial entrepreneur’s take that the Clinton tweet does indeed constitute disinformation, and it remains to be seen whether that post – and so many more like it – will soon be subjected to the type of “fact-checking” routinely foisted on conservative users, or if such action might be taken if and when the pending sale of the platform to Musk goes through.