Elon Musk arrives for a bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) Forum for all US Senators hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) at the US Capitol in Washington, US, September 13, 2023.
Leah Millis | Reuters
The White House is not walking away from Elon Musk’s SpaceX or Starlink technology despite condemning Musk for pushing anti-Semitic comments on social media, Homeland Security spokesman John Kirby said Monday.
“There is an innovation in the private sector that we would be foolish to walk away from,” Kirby replied, when a reporter asked if the government was reviewing its contracts with Musk’s rocket maker and high-speed satellite internet provider.
“I’m not aware of any concrete efforts to address our concerns about his rhetoric through the way his companies provide support to our national security establishment,” Kirby said.
Just because the federal government doesn’t plan to move away from Musk’s technology, however, “doesn’t mean we accept or agree or condone in any way this anti-Semitic rhetoric that he pushed,” Kirby added.
White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2023.
Leah Millis | Reuters
Last week, Musk agreed with an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The theory held that Jews fostered a “dialectical hatred against whites.” Musk replied: “You speak the real truth.”
In response to the comments, major companies such as Apple, Disney and Comcast, the parent company of CNBC, cut their ad spending on X.
However, disentangling the federal government from Musk’s companies could be complicated.
In September, Musk’s SpaceX won a separate contract with the Pentagon for Starshield, a military version of Starlink that is still under development.
Earlier this month, SpaceX he took leave by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a test launch of the Starship/Super Heavy missile in Texas. Saturday’s launch resulted in a brief flight before the rocket self-destructed.
In the past, senators have scrutinized the Defense Department’s reliance on Musk’s technology.
SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket is ready for launch from the company’s Boca Chica launch site on an uncrewed test flight near Brownsville, Texas, USA, on November 15, 2023.
Joe Skipper | Reuters
Musk’s anti-Semitic X post last week prompted a swift response from the White House. “We condemn this abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hatred in the strongest possible terms, which goes against our fundamental values as Americans,” spokesman Andrew Bates said Friday.
“We all have a responsibility to bring people together against hate and an obligation to speak out against anyone who attacks the dignity of fellow Americans and endangers the safety of our communities,” Bates said.
A few hours after the press conference, however, White House, Biden, first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris They all announced that they had created profiles on Threads, the social networking platform built by After to rival X. A White House official said the launch had been in the works for weeks.
“Friends, it’s President Biden,” the President wrote in his first Threads post on Monday. “You are hearing from me today from a new platform, but my message to you has not changed.”
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