A Silicon Valley investor on a quest to pressure Elon Musk into terminating his relationship with President Donald Trump has taken his fight to the pages of the New York Times and other national newspapers
In a series of full-page ads running Sunday, Doug Derwin called on the Tesla and SpaceX leader to “stand up against Trump,” citing the fact that the new president is a “disaster for the fight against climate change.”
The open letter — which also appeared in the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle — is part of Derwin’s now-public $2 million campaign to get Musk to disavow Trump and withdraw from an advisory board formed by the president to focus on economic issues. A would-have-been Tesla owner who ditched his Model S order in protest of Musk’s work with the president, Derwin has also promised to run critical television ads in the coming days.
Musk has not yet addressed the ads directly. A spokesman for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Previously, though, Musk has argued publicly that engaging the president — however different their views may be — is better than ignoring him entirely. In February, for example, Musk said he raised with Trump the tech industry’s opposition to the president’s initial executive order limiting travelers and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. Musk also highlighted climate-change issues, he said in a tweet at the time.
“I believe this is doing good, so will remain on council & keep at it,” Musk tweeted earlier this year. “Doing otherwise would be wrong.”
Update, 4:49 pm ET: A Tesla spokesman on Sunday repeated the company’s previous statement about Derwin’s campaign.
“It’s quite ironic that the reason being given for attacking Elon is to help the environment. Tesla’s entire reason for existing is to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. If someone wants to spend money to promote a pro-environment objective, we can think of better ways to do that than attacking the people who are most committed to that very purpose. Mr. Derwin believes those who want a more sustainable future should not have a seat at the table. We disagree.”