A leaked chat exchange between Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft Corp. MSFT co-founder Bill Gates shows that Musk had asked Gates about his half a billion dollar short position against Tesla.
Screenshots of the texts were shared on Twitter by an account called Whole Mars Catalog.
So apparently Bill Gates hit up @elonmusk to discuss “philanthropy on climate change” but Elon asked if he still had a half billion dollar short position on $TSLA.— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) April 22, 2022
Bill said he hasn’t closed it out, so Elon told him to get lost. No idea if this is true lol pic.twitter.com/iuHkDG3bAd
The first screenshot shows a text message from Gates confirming a day and time to meet, to which Musk responds, "Great."
Another screenshot shows a text from Gates, saying "just landed" and Musk responding "cool." Musk then sent a follow-up text, writing: "Do you still have a half-billion-dollar short position against Tesla?"
Gates responded by saying, "Sorry to say I haven't closed it out," and added, "I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities."
In the subsequent message, Musk replied: "Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive, short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change."
Responding to the tweet featuring the screenshots, Musk admitted that he indeed asked Gates if he was short-selling shares of Tesla. He tweeted that the text exchange was real, but that he was not the source of the leak.
Musk then tweeted a meme of Gates that compared him to the pregnant man emoji.
In February 2021, Musk said on Joe Rogan’s podcast that he heard Gates was betting against Tesla in the stock market.
Around the same time, in an interview, Gates praised Musk’s contribution to mitigating climate change and how he is managing Tesla on various fronts.
“It’s important to say that what Elon did with Tesla is one of the greatest contributions to climate change anyone’s ever made. Underestimating Elon is not a good idea,” Gates said.
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