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- Elon Musk took the stand Friday in a trial over his 2018 tweets about wanting to take Tesla private.
- The trial asks jurors to determine whether Musk knowingly led investors astray with his tweets.
- Musk testified with characteristic defiance, saying he didn’t believe his tweets had market significance.
Elon Musk briefly took the stand on Friday in a lawsuit that could cost him billions of dollars.
The Tesla CEO testified in a civil trial in San Francisco about his tweets in August 2018, in which he’d 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 are also planning to call a number of other high-profile witnesses in the trial, including Tesla’s former chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja, and Martin Viecha, Tesla’s head of investor relations, an attorney for the plaintiffs confirmed to Insider.
Here are 8 stand-out quotes from his half-hour testimony:
- Musk still isn’t a fan of British caver Vernon Unsworth, who he once called a “pedo guy”: “He was not a diver.”
- He’s 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’s dubious his tweets have an impact on Tesla’s stock: “Just because I tweet something does not mean people believe it or will act accordingly.”
- You probably didn’t want to work for Tesla from 2017- 2019: “The sheer level of pain required to make Tesla successful in the 2017 through 2019 period was excruciating for me and for many others, I wasn’t sleeping in the factory because I wanted to but because I had to.”
- He made sure the jury knew short-sellers aren’t traders who are short in stature: “Yes, I think most people don’t know what short seller means. It’s sort of – is it sort of a seller of small stature? Is it like medium and tall sellers? I think it’s maybe important for … I’ll just explain.”
- He really, really doesn’t like short-sellers: “I believe short selling should be made illegal. It is a means for, in my opinion, bad people on Wall Street to steal money from small investors. Not good.”
- He says people get how communicating on Twitter works: “Obviously, there is a limit if you’ve got 240 characters to what you can say. You can obviously be far more verbose in a legal filing and everyone on Twitter understands that.”
- He’ll never get to Inbox Zero: “I actually have like the Niagara Falls of email. So it’s really difficult to remember every email.”