Elizabeth Warren Attacks Elon Musk During CNN Interview; Musk Responds With Tweet

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed during an interview last week that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk did not pay any money in taxes, which elicited a response from the world’s richest man.

Warren said during the CNN interview that “for example, Elon Musk, 2018, we’ve actually seen his tax returns.”

“You know how much he paid in taxes? One of the richest people in the world? Zero,” Warren said. “And he’s not the only one. Jeff Bezos, right, another one of the richest people in the world, he pays less in taxes than a public schoolteacher or a firefighter. And they do this because they’re only being taxed on income. They very cleverly make sure they have no official income. They just have all this stock that keeps building in value, building in value. They borrow against it. It’s just not right.”

Media reports claim that Musk paid $0 in federal income taxes in 2018, but did pay $455 million in taxes between 2014 and 2018. Musk tweeted in late December that he would “pay over $11 billion in taxes this year.”

Musk responded to the comments from Warren by writing on Twitter: “Will visit IRS next time I’m in DC just to say hi, since I paid the most taxes ever in history for an individual last year. Maybe I can have a cookie or something …”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: I only have a few more minutes, so I don’t think that’s going to happen.

I am curious, though, Elon Musk just donated billions of dollars to charity.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Good.

KEILAR: He’s your favorite billionaire. Just kidding, he’s not. What do you say to that?

WARREN: Good. I’m delighted that he did this. I also believe, however, that billionaires ought to be paying taxes. And it shouldn’t simply be optional. You know, what we’ve now seen is both giant corporations and billionaires have enough tricks in the tax code —

KEILAR: Because he’s — just to be clear, he’s donating the stock, right, instead of the — he’s donating the stock.

WARREN: Yes. That’s right. But part of what happens right now is that, for example, Elon Musk, 2018, we’ve actually seen his tax returns.

You know how much he paid in taxes? One of the richest people in the world? Zero. And he’s not the only one. Jeff Bezos, right, another one of the richest people in the world, he pays less in taxes than a public schoolteacher or a firefighter. And they do this because they’re only being taxed on income. They very cleverly make sure they have no official income. They just have all this stock that keeps building in value, building in value. They borrow against it. It’s just not right. We need a system in America where everybody gets the benefits of being an American, but that means everyone pays a fair share to keep this country running.

KEILAR: All right. Well, we are going to be keeping an eye on what is going on certainly with your stock act, and as well with these Fed nominees at such a crucial time. Senator Elizabeth Warren, thank you for being with us.

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