The entrepreneur voiced his feelings about the SEC and Twitter during another controversial media appearance.
Elon Musk said he has “no respect” for the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) financial regulator during an interview with news channel CBS in which he also touched upon the subject of his Twitter outbursts.
The SEC decided to sue the outspoken Tesla CEO and entrepreneur in September for alleged securities fraud following a tweet in which Mr Musk wrote that he had secured funding to take Tesla off the stock market and make it a private company.
The SEC said the claim was “false and misleading.”
In the interview for CBS’ 60 Minutes, Musk said he and Tesla had decided to pay the $20m settlement fine from the SEC because, while he did not respect the regulator, he did believe in the justice system.
As part of the settlement, he also had to step down as Tesla’s chairman and was told that his tweets should be monitored.
Days later, Musk would take to Twitter to describe the SEC as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” and sarcastically praise its “incredible work.”
In the new interview with CBS’ Lesley Stahl, Musk insisted that the lack of a title did not bother him and that his tweets continued to be unsupervised.
“The only tweets that would have to be, say, reviewed would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock,” he said. “Otherwise it’s, ‘Hello, First Amendment.’”
Musk had previously described the social media platform as “a warzone.”
“I use my tweets to express myself. Some people use their hair, I use Twitter,” he said.
Musk drew further controversy this year when he publicly smoked marijuana during an appearance on the popular Joe Rogan podcast, also in September.
Clearly unaccustomed to the effects of the drug, many observers dubbed the entrepreneur’s behavior as irresponsible and erratic. Yet speaking to CBS, Musk defended his public image and the relative success of his companies.
“There’s been relentless criticism, relentless and outrageous and unfair,” he told Stahl. “Because what actually happened here was an incredible American success story. All these people work their ass off day and night to make it happen. And they believe in the dream. And that’s the story that really should be told.”