Twitter CEO and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday that he met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in the U.S. Capitol.
His tweet noted that he “just met with (McCarthy) & (Jeffries) to discuss ensuring that this platform is fair to both parties.” McCarthy was celebrating his 58th birthday and joked later that the CEO stopped by to give him regards.
The face-to-face with Jeffries was reportedly incidental, with the New York Democrat joining the Speaker for a law enforcement briefing.
CNN reported the pair were informed of official preparations at the Capitol in the case of protests concerning the death of Tyre Nichols. He is the Black motorist who died after allegedly being violently beaten by five Memphis police officers.
For Musk, it was his first visit to the 118th Congress, and somehow he managed to get through the building without fielding questions from the media. A reporter tweeted that Musk had been sighted, sending a swarm of journalists to the Speaker’s office Thursday afternoon.
Twitter owner Elon Musk said he met with both House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries Thursday afternoon to “discuss ensuring that [Twitter] is fair to both parties,” after facing backlash for endorsing Republicans in the 2022 midterms. pic.twitter.com/FHQr1tLath
— Forbes (@Forbes) January 27, 2023
It was McCarthy who emerged and informed the media about the birthday visit. He related that he and Musk are longtime friends. The billionaire himself was not seen afterward.
According to CNN, Musk’s exchange with Jeffries came as he was leaving the briefing. According to Politico, an aide to the Minority Leader brushed off the suggestion that there had been a scheduled meeting with Musk, confirming that it was a brief encounter.
The topic of Twitter was reportedly brought up.
Musk’s appearance in Washington came before next month’s scheduled hearing by the House Oversight Committee concerning Twitter’s handling — or mishandling — of the explosive Hunter Biden laptop story.
News broke in the New York Post of the abandoned laptop in the weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Twitter’s former management, however, blocked the dispersal of critical articles on the subject.
The social media platform justified their actions without evidence that the materials violated the company’s “hacked materials” policy. Former Twitter security and content moderation officials were asked by Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) to appear in February.
Since his acquisition of Twitter late last year, Musk has regularly released internal documents exposing efforts to suppress mainly conservative viewpoints on the platform. The hearings should be quite revealing of the extent to which Big Tech can censor dissenting information.