Elon Musk and Trump reportedly discussed opening Tesla factory over phone
- During a phone call with Donald Trump in April, Elon Musk made the case that reopening Tesla's Bay Area factory wouldn't pose a "significant risk," The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
- Trump said he agreed 100% with Musk, according to The Washington Post.
- Musk has been in a showdown with local officials after he ordered production to resume at the plant in violation of public health orders and dared officials to arrest him.
- Trump weighed in on the issue earlier Tuesday, tweeting that Tesla should be allowed to reopen "NOW."
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Elon Musk told President Donald Trump during a phone call last month that Tesla should be able to resume manufacturing at its factory in Fremont, California, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
During a call with Trump and other chief executives last month, Tesla's CEO praised the president and made the case for reopening the plant by May 1 or sooner, saying "I do not think it represents a significant risk," according to The Washington Post.
Trump said he agreed with Musk 100%, The Washington Post reported.
The factory has become the source of a heated showdown between Musk and local officials after he confirmed Monday that Tesla had restarted production in defiance of local orders and challenged authorities to arrest him.
"If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me," Musk tweeted.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 11, 2020
An Alameda County official sent Tesla a letter Monday ordering it to stop operations as workers returned to the factory, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, but the factory has remained in operation and officials have yet to take further action.
Trump weighed in publicly on the controversy earlier Tuesday, siding with Musk.
"California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW," Trump tweeted. "It can be done Fast & Safely!"
Thank you!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 12, 2020
Musk has been extremely critical of state and local shelter-in-place orders meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, calling them "fascist" and saying they are "fundamentally a violation of the Constitution."
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