Republicans ask Twitter board to preserve records of Elon Musk's bid

Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman details Republican lawmakers' interest in Tesla CEO Elon Musk's proposed bid for Twitter and the discourse surrounding Musk's political leanings.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: I will also want to ask you, we were required here to talk about Elon Musk at least once a day, at least, if I get my way. And now, House Republicans seem to be almost claiming Elon of one of their own, which is an interesting dynamic. They've suggested that all records should be preserved of Elon's bid to take over Twitter, that the board should preserve all those records. Now, number one, don't they already have to do that because the SEC? And number two, what are House Republicans hoping for here?

RICK NEWMAN: Well, this is a request from the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. And what they clearly are thinking about is if they regain control of Congress next year, which is probably more than 50% likely at this point, they could very well hold hearings on whatever is going on at Twitter.

And reading between the lines, they would probably be ecstatic if Elon Musk actually is able to buy Twitter because they interpret-- Musk has not said this, but they think that Elon Musk will be more tolerant of conservatives who might be touting bogus information on Twitter, people who may have gotten banned in the past-- President Trump is an obvious one.

So they think Elon Musk might be more forgiving. So if Elon Musk is not able to buy Twitter, what I think these House Republicans are saying is, if we control the House, we're going to hold some hearings, and we're going to get all up in your grill and try to embarrass you in front of the public for spurning Elon Musk. That's the way I understand this request.

BRAD SMITH: And so, Rick, is this about internal documents, meetings that they would have about where to move forward with this particular consideration of whether or not Elon Musk's bid suffices? And, quite frankly, it still needs to come down to shareholders, too, at the end of the day. But as I'm looking at it right now, I mean, I've got the SEC filing right in front of me. So it's got to be beyond what is searchable on Google for the GOP.

RICK NEWMAN: Well, I think you're attributing much too-- way too much rationality to members of Congress, Brad. I mean, stuff like this, it's always just a political stunt. It's meant to make the CEOs come out and testify and try to embarrass them and put them on the spot, and of course, win points so that Donald Trump will pat you on the head or whoever you're trying to appease will think you're doing a good job, going after the big, bad CEOs. I mean, how many show trials like this have we seen in Congress?

But look, Congress does have the right to do this. And I think we should take these Republicans at their word, even if it's completely duplicative of whatever the SEC might be doing. If they feel like Elon Musk gets a raw deal, then they're going to call the Twitter board to a show hearing.

DAVE BRIGGS: Rick, if you had to guess, what is Elon Musk's political leanings? Is he a true libertarian?

RICK NEWMAN: He is-- he does seem to be a libertarian. And that's open-- what does it even mean to be a libertarian? That's open to interpretation. So people think that he's Trumpy because, as an example, he really fought against COVID lockdown restrictions. He even broke the law at his California factory in 2020 to keep it open when the county said you had to close it.

So people think that he's sort of a closet Trump supporter. I'm not sure he is a closet Trump supporter. He has actually said he prefers to stay out of politics. But he makes so many cryptic remarks that people can read into it, anything they want. And many conservatives read into it, ah, he must be one of us. I don't think he necessarily is, but that's what conservatives want to think.

DAVE BRIGGS: I'm in your camp on this one. I heard some on national television this morning comparing him to Peter Thiel. I said, no, he is not Peter Thiel by any stretch of the imagination. Great stuff.

RICK NEWMAN: He doesn't give money either.


RICK NEWMAN: You don't find a lot of political donations either.

DAVE BRIGGS: No, he moves his company.

BRAD SMITH: Very little, in fact. Very little.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, Rick Newman, have a good weekend, my friend. Thank you.

RICK NEWMAN: See you guys.