Did Elon Musk Tweet ‘We Will Coup Whoever We Want, Deal With It’?

Claim

Elon Musk tweeted "We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it" in July 2020.

Rating

True

Reporting

On July 29 2020, comedian Lee Camp shared the following image, which quoted Elon Musk as saying the United States would “coup whoever we want,” and to “deal with it”:

Across an image of Musk, text read:

My name is Elon Musk. I’m the CEO of Tesla. Our cars & batteries require a great deal of cheap lithium.

Last year, a U.S.-backed fascist coup took over the lithium-rich country of Bolivia, violently removing their first Indigenous leader.

When asked about this on Twitter, I responded, “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it.”

On Reddit’s r/RealTesla, a user shared what appeared to be a link to the referenced tweet on July 25 2020:

We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it. from RealTesla

Background

The image referenced political events in Bolivia in 2019, explained at length here.

Musk’s Tweet

At first glance, Musk’s timeline showed no July 2020 tweets responding to comments about a coup in Bolivia or anywhere else.

On July 24 2020, Musk weighed in on coronavirus aid, tweeting that “[an additional] government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo”:

Among responses to that tweet was one by @historyofarmani, on the same day:

That reply read:

You know what wasnt in the best interest of people? the U.S. government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.

It appeared Musk’s “coup … deal with it” tweet was in response to that particular reply, and it was indeed published on July 24 2020:

The tweet’s URL (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1286866843307737088) was archived eleven times between early on July 25 2020 and the early evening on July 26 2020. Presumably, Musk deleted the tweet on July 26 2020.

Musk did respond to a tweet about events in Bolivia in 2019, and said “we will coup whoever we want,” and to “deal with it.” Musk left the tweet up for about two days, deleting it for unknown reasons around July 26 2020. Multiple archives of the tweet as it appeared before its deletion are available here.

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