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Elon Musk appeared to mock Bill Gates' weight in a spat over Gates shorting Tesla stock

Business Insider US

Gates wanted to discuss philanthropic "possibilities" with Musk.

  • Elon Musk seemed to poke fun at Bill Gates by posting a tweet with an emoji of a pregnant man.
  • In a follow-up tweet, Musk wrote: "Shadow ban council reviewing tweet" with an image of dark figures.
  • The tweets follows leaked texts in which Gates turned down a philanthropic opportunity.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

Elon Musk on Friday posted a meme of Bill Gates on Twitter that appeared to mock the Microsoft cofounder's weight on Friday.

The meme featured a photo of Gates alongside a pregnant man emoji. Musk posted it after screenshots of texts between the two billionaires were leaked by Twitter account @WholeMarsBlog, which Musk later confirmed were real.

The exchange showed Musk had turned down a philanthropic opportunity with Gates as the Tesla CEO asked him if he had taken a short position – betting a stock price will fall by selling a stock they've borrowed to buy it back at a lower price – on Tesla.

The leaked texts show Musk asking Gates: "Do you still have a half billion dollar short position against Tesla?"

Gates responded: "Sorry to say I haven't closed it out." He added: "I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities."

Musk appeared to shut down the potential partnership and wrote: "Sorry, but I cannot take your philanthropy on climate change seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change."

Gates appears to have previously hit out at the SpaceX founder when he was asked about his views last year on some billionaires' focus on space travel.

"Space? We have a lot to do here on Earth," Gates said in an interview with James Corden. His comments came only a week after SpaceX completed its first all-civilian mission to orbit.

Tesla and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond to Insider's requests for comment made outside of normal working hours.   

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