Tesla CEO Elon Musk slammed CBS for airing what he called a “misleading” edit of his interview with “60 Minutes.”
Musk’s criticism appeared to focus on a portion of the interview that focused on his removal as Tesla’s chairman of the board as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The clip was posted on the “60 Minutes” Twitter account last Sunday.
In the clip, Musk appeared to respond to a question about whether he’d handpicked Robyn Denholm to serve as his replacement with a simple “Yes.” Asked if Denholm was brought on to “babysit” him, the edit showed Musk respond by saying that idea was “not realistic” because, as Tesla’s largest shareholder, he “can just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want.”
“This is a very misleading edit,” Musk wrote in response to the Twitter post. “Please post the full transcript where I complete the sentence.”
CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk’s request.
Electrek, an electric-car industry blog, obtained a transcript of the interview with the full version of Musk’s responses. When asked if he had handpicked Denholm, Musk said: “Yes…handpicked her? I asked for a chair, and the rest of the board was very supportive of that.”
When asked if Denholm was meant to serve as Musk’s babysitter to prevent further gaffes, Musk said: “I mean that’s not realistic because I am the largest shareholder in the company and a very high percentage of the shareholders support me and the company. So essentially I could just call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that I want provided I could get support of at least a 1/3 of the other shareholders, which is likely. At the end of the day the shareholders control the company.”
The original clip on the “60 Minutes” Twitter account was still live as of Tuesday.
Musk was forced to resign as Tesla chairman and pay a hefty fine after the SEC charged him with misleading investors about his intentions to take the company private. While Musk tweeted last summer that he had “funding secured” for a take-private deal at $420 per share, no deal ever materialized.