Elon Musk in the sights of the American authorities

The excitement around the takeover of Twitter and the role taken by Starlink in the war in Ukraine are prompting the Biden administration to take a serious look at the maneuvers of the billionaire for questions of national security.

By dint of fussing, Elon Musk ended up annoying the American authorities. According to Bloomberg, the US administration is now considering whether some of the billionaire’s businesses should be scrutinized for national security reasons.

In this case, the Starlink satellite network, deployed by the company SpaceX, is in the sights of the authorities. Last week, Elon Musk asked the Pentagon to pay for the system deployed in Ukraine. A claim that went very badly with the Department of Defense, finally forcing the billionaire to do an about-face.

Added to this psychodrama, the words of Elon Musk on the war in Ukraine. If the billionaire claims to be “pro-Ukrainian”, he had proposed on Twitter a succinct “peace plan” which largely took up Moscow’s proposals. A famous geopolitical scientist then assured that Musk had told him that he had discussed this issue directly with Vladimir Putin.

A troubled position which only reinforces the annoyance of the American authorities. Especially since another file agitates the Pentagon: the takeover of Twitter. Elon Musk is preparing to pay 44 billion dollars to afford the social network by selling part of his Tesla shares but above all by relying on banks and foreign investors. And it is this last point that worries the authorities.

China in the background

Among the investors concerned by the takeover of Twitter, we find the Chinese Binance, the sovereign fund of Qatar or even Prince Al-Walid ben Talal of Saudi Arabia. On this issue, the dreaded Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) could thus enter the dance. Composed of 11 federal agencies, it can decide to cancel a transaction if it deems it appropriate.

A major player in government contracts, Elon Musk recently ruled that Taiwan should conclude a “reasonably acceptable” agreement with China to become Beijing’s “special administrative zone”. A declaration in contradiction with the firmness of the American authorities on this very sensitive question.

Thomas Le Roy Journalist BFM Business

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