Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and billionaire Elon Musk have clashed in the past, but their fight could soon escalate as Warren called for an investigation into Musk’s SpaceX after a report that he refused Ukraine access to the Starlink network in order to thwart an attack on Russian warships.
Warren called on the Pentagon and Congress to investigate what happened, saying that they needed “to make sure foreign policy is conducted by the government and not by one billionaire,” according to Bloomberg.
Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed agreed, saying that while he appreciated that SpaceX made it much cheaper to get to space, Musk “can’t be the last word when it comes to national security.” Warren is also a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Musk has been providing internet access to Ukraine during the Russian offensive via his Starlink satellite network. Last year, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography Elon Musk, Ukraine had planned a sneak attack on Russian warships while they had been anchored. Musk later confirmed the story in a post to X.
“There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol. The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor. If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” he wrote.
There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol.
The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor.
If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2023
Musk feared that the attack could lead to nuclear retaliation against Ukraine, according to Isaacson’s book. In a Monday tweet, Musk said that it was “treasonous” to criticise his decision to block the attack on Russia.
“I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America. The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly,” he wrote.
I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.
The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such.
Please tell them that very clearly.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2023
This is far from the first time Warren has had disagreements with Elon Musk. This July, Warren asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Tesla for conflicts of interest due to his running both Tesla and Twitter.
“Mr. Musk’s actions since purchasing Twitter and becoming its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – while remaining Tesla’s CEO – have raised concerns about conflicts of interest, misappropriation of corporate assets, and other negative impacts to Tesla shareholders. Despite recent and repeated calls from investors to address these actions, the Board appears to have failed to uphold its legal duty to ensure that Mr. Musk act in the best interest of Tesla,” Warren said.
Shortly after, Musk’s X Corp. subpoenaed Warren over the letter to the SEC, in hopes of stopping the Federal Trade Commission investigation into Twitter. X Corp. alleged that the FTC investigation was “tainted by bias,” according to Ars Technica.
In December, in response to a tweet that Warren had asked Tesla’s board if investors were harmed by Musk’s actions while owning Twitter, Musk tweeted, “The United States has definitely been harmed by having her as a senator lol”.
The United States has definitely been harmed by having her as a senator lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2022
And a year before that, in December 2021, Musk called Warren “Senator Karen” when she said that how little he paid in taxes was evidence that “the system is broken,” according to Newsweek. In response, Warren told MSNBC that “the world’s richest freeloader evidently has a very thin skin.”
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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
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