More Testy Lemon-Musk Exchanges Revealed

One regarding Trump, another regarding hate speech on X
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2024 12:45 AM CDT
Musk, Lemon Had a Couple Other Testy Exchanges
Don Lemon attends the 15th annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Turns out ketamine wasn't the only touchy subject Don Lemon asked Elon Musk about during the interview that apparently killed Lemon's partnership deal with X. Lemon appeared on his old network, CNN, to talk to Erin Burnett about the situation Wednesday, the Hill and Mediaite report. In clips shared with CNN, Lemon asks Musk about reports that Donald Trump shared a meal with Musk and other wealthy potential donors amid efforts by the Trump campaign to boost its finances. "I was at a breakfast at a friend's place, and Donald Trump came by. That's it," Musk said. Asked what the two discussed, a laughing Musk (Deadline describes him as "clearly flustered") replied, "Let's just say he did most of the talking."

  • More on Trump: Musk answered firmly in the negative when Lemon asked if he was planning to loan Trump money to assist with the presidential candidate's legal bills, and Musk also said Trump did not ask him for money.
  • Who he's "leaning toward" in Election 2024: Musk insisted he's not leaning toward anyone, but he's "leaning away from Biden."
  • One more testy exchange: Lemon also asked Musk about his past apparent endorsement of the antisemitic "replacement theory," prompting a tense back-and-forth, Mediaite reports. One line from Musk: "I don't have to answer questions from reporters. Don, the only reason I'm doing this interview is because you're on the X platform and you asked for it. Otherwise, there would not do—I would not do this interview."
Lemon, who was fired by CNN last year after controversial remarks about Nikki Haley, will still release the interview as the first episode of the Don Lemon Show on Monday, just without an official deal with X. Sources tell outlets including CNN and Semafor that Lemon and Musk had not actually signed a contract, but X had been promoting the deal and had started selling ads on the show—and CNN notes the deal could still be found to be legally binding if there was a "mutual understanding" of the deal. (More on the souring of the Lemon-Musk deal here.)

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