Elon Musk revealed through text on Friday that he declined to work on climate change with Bill Gates because the Microsoft co-founder was shorting Tesla.
In the texts, the two billionaires appear set to meet somewhere before Musk asks Gates if he still has a “half billion dollar short position against Tesla.”
Gates replies, “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it yet,” adding in another text: “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”
Musk replies that he can’t take Gates’ philanthropy on climate change “seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”
Musk confirmed the accuracy of a screenshot of the text exchange provided by @WholeMarsBlog on Friday night, who wrote “No idea if this is legit lol” and inquired about it.
“Yeah,” Musk answered, “but I didn’t leak it to NYT. They must have got it through friends of friends. I heard from multiple people at TED that Gates still had half billion short against Tesla, which is why I asked him, so it’s not exactly top secret.”
Musk also trolled Gates with a vulgar tweet Friday comparing a photo of the Seattleite to a pregnant man emoji.