- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
- Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon told CNN that Elon Musk and other tech CEOs are “all man childs.”
- Bannon said Musk had an “emotional breakdown” in an interview with The New York Times, and“flat out lied” about securing funding to take Tesla private.
- Bannon’s attack comes just hours after Musk denied crying during the Times interview.
- Musk and Bannon have met before, as Musk served on two advisory councils to Donald Trump, but pulled out over the US president’s decision to leave the Paris climate change agreement.
Steve Bannon roasted Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an interview with CNN journalist Oliver Darcy on Wednesday.
Bannon was generally damning of big tech executives on the call, saying that they are “sociopaths” and “narcissists,” but he was particularly scathing about Musk and Tesla.
In a venomous attack, the former White House strategist said Musk’s board of directors have no control over him and that he “essentially lies.”
He also criticised what he saw as Musk’s “emotional breakdown” in his interview with the New York Times earlier this month. “This is the level of maturity you have with these people. They are not mature adults. They are all man childs,” said Bannon.
Here’s his quote in full:
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 30, 2018
It comes just hours after Musk denied crying during the Times interview.
Musk tweeted on Tuesday that during the conversation, his voice “cracked once” and he did not cry. A New York Times spokesperson refuted this, saying: “Mr. Musk’s emotion was audible. It is not true that his voice only cracked once.”
The back-and-forth over Musk’s now infamous “funding secured” tweet has been a stormy time for Tesla, with the carmaker’s stock falling 5% after Musk finally revealed that he was not taking the company private.
Musk and Bannon’s paths have crossed previously.
Musk served on two presidential advisory councils to Donald Trump, but stepped down in June 2017 citing the US president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. At the time, Musk tweeted: “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Bannon was reportedly instrumental in convincing Trump to pull out of the Paris Accord, although he was fired as chief strategist just a few months later.
Business Insider has contacted Tesla and Elon Musk for comment.