Elon Musk testifies on day two of his Tesla Tweet trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was back in federal court Monday in San Francisco to testify in a class action lawsuit brought by Tesla investors alleging he misled them with a tweet.

In the tweet, which resulted in a $40 million settlement with securities regulators, Musk claimed he had raised the financing to take Tesla private in a deal that didn’t come close to happening.

The trial hinges on the question of whether a pair of tweets Musk posted on Aug. 7, 2018, hurt Tesla shareholders during the 10-day period that led to Musk’s admission that the takeover he had envisioned would not happen.

Musk, who said Monday that he “had trouble sleeping last night and unfortunately I’m not at my best,” testified that it was important for jurors to know he “felt the funding was secure” because of his ownership of “SpaceX stock alone.”

“Just like you sold shares in Tesla to buy Twitter,” he said of selling shares to make up for a lack of funding from other sources for his $44 billion deal to take Twitter private… Musk sold nearly $23 billion of his auto company stock between last April when he began building Post to Twitter, and Dec.

“My shares in SpaceX alone would have secured the financing,” Musk said of the 2018 tweets.

Even before Musk took the stand on Friday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen announced that the jury could consider both of those tweets bogus, leaving them to decide whether Musk knowingly deceived investors and whether his statements saddled them with losses.

Musk previously claimed he entered the SEC settlement under duress and asserted that he believed he withheld financial support for the Tesla purchase during meetings with representatives from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

In the first tweets of 2018, Musk stated that “funding secured” for the $72 billion — or $420 per share — purchase of Tesla at a time when the electric carmaker was still having production problems and was worth much less. than it is now. Musk followed up a few hours later with another tweet indicating that a deal was imminent.

Nicholas Porritt, a lawyer representing Tesla shareholders, asked Musk if he “went with the 420 because it was a joke your girlfriend was enjoying.” Musk responded that he believed there was “some karma” about the number 420 — also a colloquial reference to marijuana — though he added that he didn’t know “whether it’s good karma or bad karma at this point.”

He then said the number was a “coincidence” and represented a 20% premium to Tesla’s share price at the time.

After it became clear that the funds weren’t available to take Tesla private, Musk stepped down as chairman of Tesla while remaining CEO as part of the SEC settlement, without admitting any wrongdoing.

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