"You wouldn't want to underestimate Elon. What he did at Tesla is amazing, helping with climate change, what he did at SpaceX," Gates told the "Today" show. "Will he, this time, make that improvement? … Elon thinks he can improve Twitter. Well, I don't know specifically what he'll do, but there's an opportunity and we need innovation in that space."
Gates also said that the digital realm has "facilitated kind of interesting but wrong ideas spreading very quickly."
"We need to innovate so that digital realm is more of a positive thing of getting the truth out and people are seeing that 'hey, this is false,'" he added.
Musk, who has referred to free speech as the "bedrock of a functioning democracy" and Twitter as "the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated," has expressed interest in open sourcing its algorithm and cracking down on spam bots in order to increase transparency and improve the user experience on the platform.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Musk will take Twitter private at $54.20 per share. The deal is expected to close in 2022.
The comments come after Musk recently confirmed the veracity of a leaked text exchange in which he rejected an offer from Gates to collaborate on tackling climate change due to a "half billion dollar short position against Tesla."
Gates admitted in the text exchange that his short position on Tesla remains open, though it is unclear when exactly the messages were sent. Gates has not publicly commented on the messages. A spokesperson for Gates did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.
In addition, Musk recently issued a vulgar tweet comparing Gates to Apple's new pregnant man emoji. He later said he was "moving on from making fun of Gates for shorting Tesla while claiming to support climate change action."