- Elon Musk appeared in a lawsuit Friday over his 2018 tweets about wanting to take Tesla private.
- The lawsuit asks jurors to decide whether Musk deliberately misled investors with his tweets.
- Testifying with characteristic defiance, Musk said he did not believe his tweets had any market significance.
Elon Musk briefly took the stand Friday in a lawsuit that could cost him billions of dollars.
The Tesla chief testified in a civil trial in San Francisco about his tweets in August 2018, in which he had claimed he planned to take his car company private with “funding secured”.
Musk is expected to continue his testimony on Monday. The shareholders suing him also plan to call a number of other high-profile witnesses in the trial, including Tesla’s former CFO Deepak Ahuja, and Martin Viecha, Tesla’s head of investor relations, a lawyer for the plaintiffs confirmed to Insider.
Musk has been known for his penchant for combative testimony lately — from cracking jokes to taking digs at opposing attorneys.
Here are 8 excellent quotes from his half-hour testimony:
- Musk is still not a fan of British caver Vernon Unsworth, whom he once called a “pedo guy”: “He was no diver.”
- He is hazy on big names asking him to tweet less: On whether he remembers billionaire investor Ron Baron telling him not to use Twitter in July 2018 after his tweets about the Thai cave explorer: “He’s not saying don’t use Twitter. He’s saying I shouldn’t respond to criticism in the news on Twitter.”
- He doubts his tweets have an impact on Tesla’s stock: “Just because I tweet something doesn’t mean people will believe it or act on it.”
- You probably wouldn’t work for Tesla from 2017-2019: “The great level of pain required to make Tesla successful in the period 2017 to 2019 was unbearable for me and for many others, I did not sleep in the factory because I wanted to, but because I had to.”
- He made sure the jury knew that short sellers are not low growth traders: “Yeah, I think most people don’t know what short seller means. It’s like – is it kind of a short seller? Is it like medium and tall sellers? I think maybe it’s important to … I’ll just explain . “
- He really doesn’t like short sellers: “I think short selling should be made illegal. It is, in my opinion, a means for bad people on Wall Street to steal money from small investors. Not good.”
- He says people understand how communication on Twitter works: “Obviously, if you have 240 characters, there’s a limit to what you can say. You can obviously be far more detailed in a legal filing, and everyone on Twitter understands that.”
- He never gets to Inbox Zero: “I actually have like Niagara Falls of email. So it’s really hard to remember every email.”