Elon Musk is facing criticism after he joked the United States has been "harmed" by Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren as she inquired about the harm Musk has caused to Tesla's investors.
Earlier, Warren—who has spent her career focusing on consumer protection, equitable economic opportunity and the social safety net—noted Musk is still the chief executive of the automotive company despite recently acquiring the social media platform Twitter.
Warren suggested it is worth investigating whether Musk is "creating conflicts of interest" and "misappropriating company resources" because Tesla "is not Musk's private plaything."
She noted she has "many questions for the Tesla board" in a tweet that included a link to a New York Times story about her concerns about Musk's stewardship of Twitter.
You can see Warren's tweet below.
The Times' story soon caught Musk's eye after it was shared by former Tesla program manager Farzad Mesbahi and he quickly proceeded to attack Warren, writing:
"The United States has definitely been harmed by having her as a senator lol."
You can see Musk's tweet below.
Many have criticized Musk for his childish response.
Twitter has been mired in scandal since Musk acquired it in October and criticisms about Musk's content moderation policies and commitment to freedom of speech have raised questions about Musk's capacity to lead. His actions have caused Tesla to lose almost a third of its value since the Twitter acquisition was finalized.
Warren said in her letter to Tesla's board that the board has “failed to meet” its “legal duty” to ensure Musk is not treating the company as his “private plaything.” She pointed out that Musk’s deal to purchase the social media platform gave Tesla $1 billion in yearly interest payments to make, an amount that exceeds its annual cash flow.
Warren has asked the board to elaborate on how it is handling “conflicts of interest, misappropriation of corporate assets, and other actions by Mr. Musk that appear not to be in the best interests of Tesla and its shareholders.”