Texas Governor Tweets, Quietly Deletes ‘@ElonMusk Picked the Right State to Move to’

On May 20 2022, journalist Kara Carlson tweeted an apparent screenshot of a deleted tweet from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), in which Abbott retweeted Musk and addressed Musk’s relocation to Texas:

In December 2021, Business Insider reported regulatory filings confirming that Musk had officially relocated Tesla Motors to the state of Texas, in a piece headlined, “Tesla’s move to Texas from California is officially complete”:

Fact Check

Claim: On May 19 2022, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that Elon Musk “picked the right state to move to,” then deleted the tweet as a sexual misconduct story began circulating.

Description: On May 19 2022, Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to a tweet by Elon Musk stating that the latter had picked the right state to move to. The governor’s tweet was reportedly deleted later.


Rating Explanation: The information was verified through captured screenshots of the deleted tweet and corresponding entries in the ProPublica’s Politwoops database, which archives removed tweets of notable political figures.

It’s official: Tesla is now a Texas company.

The electric automaker announced the move [in December 2021] in a filing with the US Securities Exchange Corporation.

“On December 1, 2021, Tesla, Inc. relocated its corporate headquarters to Gigafactory Texas at 13101 Harold Green Road, Austin, Texas 78725,” it said.

The shift brings Tesla closer to its sister company, SpaceX, and is part of CEO Elon Musk’s big breakup with the Bay Area. Tesla first began using Austin as the dateline in press releases in October [2021].

Musk himself reportedly relocated to Texas from California prior to Tesla Motors’ official December 2021 move. In December 2020, Fortune.com published “Why Elon Musk moved to Texas—and what he really thinks of California”:

Elon Musk has moved to Texas to focus on two big priorities for his companies: SpaceX’s new Starship vehicle and Tesla Inc.’s new Gigafactory, currently under construction in Austin.

There also are potentially enormous tax implications for Musk, who recently became the world’s second-wealthiest person. Texas has no personal income tax, while California imposes the highest personal income levies in the nation on its richest residents.

“I have moved to Texas,” Musk said [in October 2020], speaking in a live interview with the Wall Street Journal. Musk did not specify where or say if he has purchased property.

As for the purportedly deleted tweet from Abbott, it involved a May 19 2022 tweet by Musk, timestamped at 11:28 PM Eastern time. In it, Musk complained of forthcoming “attacks” against him, claiming that negative press ought to be “viewed through a political lens”:

The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – but nothing will deter me from fighting for a good future and your right to free speech[.]

In the screenshot of Abbott’s deleted tweet, a timestamp suggested that it was published at 10:34 PM (or 11:34 PM Eastern), about six minutes after Musk tweeted about “attacks” against him.

Abbott’s supposedly deleted tweet read:

@elonmusk picked the right state to move to.

In Carlson’s tweet, she added “now deleted” to the screenshot. A search of ProPublica’s Politwoops didn’t initially return any evidence of the tweet, but additional searching returned a matching entry:

GregAbbott_TX (R-Texas)

.@elonmusk picked the right state to move to. QT @elonmusk: The attacks against me should be viewed through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) playbook – b… https://t.co/EARrCy0CV8) Deleted after 7 minutes about 15 hours ago.

It looks like this tweet was replaced by the next tweet from @GregAbbott_TX.

Although text suggested “this tweet was replaced by the next tweet from @GregAbbott_TX,” linked text led to an unrelated topic:

On May 20 2022, Austin Statesman reporter Kara Carlson shared a screenshot of a deleted tweet by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. In the deleted tweet, Abbott retweeted a then-recent tweet by Elon Musk, in which Musk complained of politically motivated “attacks” against him. Abbott did tweet and delete the depicted commentary, stating that “.@elonmusk picked the right state to move to.”