Elon Musk “tripled” his claim that Twitter underreported the number of spam accounts on its platform during an address to tech moguls, according to a new report.
Mr Musk addressed a high-profile audience of media executives at the Allen & Co Sun Valley Conference in Idaho on Saturday, a day after he tried to back out of the $44 billion deal to take over the social media platform.
On Saturday, it was reported that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX avoided speaking on Twitter during a confidential onstage interview with Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence research firm OpenAI.
But Brian Stelter, chief correspondent for the CNN media, claimed on Sunday Mr Musk did indeed address the elephant in the room.
Mr Musk reportedly told the audience that “no one believes Twitter’s claim that bots account for less than 5 percent of total usage,” Mr Stelter said, citing an anonymous source who was in the room.
“He apparently talked about the deal. There are some headlines you’ll see out there saying he’s been avoiding the topic, but I’ve been told he was speaking on Twitter,” Stelter added Reliable source.
“He’s tripled his decision to back out of the deal, and he claims it’s about bots.”
Mr Musk reportedly spent most of the interview speaking in a wide-ranging conversation about colonizing Mars and boosting birth rates on Earth.
Mr. Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share in April, waiving his right to due diligence. Since then, he has repeatedly complained that Twitter misrepresented the number of fake accounts on its platform.
When Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal defended the company’s handling of bots in May, Mr Musk responded with a poop emoji.
On Friday, Mr Musk tried to end the deal after his lawyers claimed the social media company made “apparently false and misleading statements” in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Twitter CEO Bret Taylor said the company would take legal action to force Mr Musk to complete the sale.
Mr Musk revealed last week that he had twins with Shivon Zilis, an executive at his company SpaceX, last year.