US President Donald Trump has likened the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk to Thomas Edison, claiming he was one of the world’s “great geniuses,” on Wednesday.
When asked about Elon Musk during an interview with CNBC “Squawk Box” co-host Joe Kernen from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump responded:
“I was worried about him, because he’s one of our great geniuses, and we have to protect our genius… You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison, and we have to protect all of these people that came up with, originally, the lightbulb, and the wheel and all of these things… And he’s one of our very smart people and we want to cherish those people.”
"You have to give [@ElonMusk] credit," President Trump tells @JoeSquawk. "He's one of our great geniuses, and we have to protect our genius."— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 22, 2020
"He's going to be building a very big plant in the United States. He has to, because we help him, so he has to help us." pic.twitter.com/WIlBJS0saE
Donald Trump also recalled earlier times that marked a chaotic ride for the company.
“You go back a year and they were talking about the end of the company. And now all of a sudden they’re talking about these great things.”
A year ago, Tesla shares jumped to near-record levels after the CEO famously tweeted on 7 August 2018 he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 a share.
The tweet marked the beginning of 12 months when the Silicon Valley automaker enjoyed both dramatic new performance records and some low points.
In the CNBC interview on Wednesday, the president also marveled at what Musk’s commercial company SpaceX had accomplished with rockets.
“I spoke to him very recently, and he’s also doing the rockets. He likes rockets. And he does good at rockets, too, by the way. I never saw where the engines come down with no wings, no anything, and they’re landing. I said I’ve never seen that before,” said Trump.
Netizens had something to say about President Trump’s interview, as many deplored his verbal “ineptitude.”
With all the best words too. Obviously 🙄— Paula Masterson (@pksm47) January 22, 2020
Every time I hear him speak I can't help but think 'This is the best America can do? Seriously?'— TheSquarePouf (@SquarePouf) January 22, 2020
I mean, he's so adept at cramming so much stupidity into just a little bit of time, it's breathtaking.
Wth? I thought he wants people to speak English. Maybe he should try it first. Sheesh what a maroon. #RemoveAndIndict— weegee56 🤷🏻♀️ (@weegee56) January 22, 2020
Some fans took issue with Trump seeming to imply Thomas Edinson was alive.
Do you think @realDonaldTrump knows Thomas Edison is dead? How do we protect a dead inventor?— never trumper, national debt over 22 Trillion (@wokerepublican7) January 22, 2020
Other fans swooped in to mock the president’s mention of the “inventors of the wheel”.
He really did say an American invented the wheel?! pic.twitter.com/PRl5PvMiSe— Ray Raddington [₿] (@RaddingtonRay) January 22, 2020
He forgot to mention Fire... yea protect the fires inventors.. 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/ULTEyFZbDn— You ..Me ..We .. E. (@BuzzzAmErikuh) January 23, 2020
Holy shit, the wheel was us? Who knew!— Paul Boudreau (@boudreau_paul) January 22, 2020
The Wheel was invented by the Assyrians 3500 BC....— Packleader (@Scharfemoch) January 22, 2020
In one minute today Trump managed to:— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) January 22, 2020
- Say Elon Musk “does very good at rockets”
- Imply Thomas Edinson is alive
- Say the wheel was invented in America
Such a massive embarrassment to our country.
Others seemed genuinely concerned about Donald Trump’s future plans for Elon Musk and Tesla.
Is Trump planning to force @Tesla to build in the US?— Secola Democrat Savage Edwards (@SecolaEdwards) January 22, 2020
"He's gonna be building a great, big plant in the United States. He has to... because we help him, so he has to help us."
" I would like you to do us a favor though.."#MobsterSpeak
Tesla Shares Surge
The US president’s comments about Elon Musk come as shares of Tesla more than doubled in value since late September, hitting all-time highs.
On Wednesday, 22 January, Tesla finished the trading day with a market cap greater than $100 billion for the first time, with stocks shooting up more than 8 percent.