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Elon Musk’s Lawyers Defended Tweet to SEC as Rehash of Vetted Statement

Peter Blumberg
Elon Musk’s Lawyers Defended Tweet to SEC as Rehash of Vetted Statement

(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s lawyers tried last week to offer an innocent explanation for his Feb. 19 tweet that’s now drawing the wrath of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The tweet “was intended to recapitulate” a statement from an earnings call 20 days earlier -- and pre-approved by Tesla’s general counsel -- in which Musk predicted Model 3 output “should allow us to get to the 10,000 vehicles a week rate or very close to it by the end of the year,” according to the attorneys’ Feb. 22 letter to the SEC included in court filings Monday.

The company’s attorneys stressed that Tesla and Musk take seriously their responsibility under the settlement reached with the SEC last year to review communications about securities issues made through Twitter and other social media.

“Although the 7:15 PM EST tweet was not individually pre-approved, Mr. Musk believed that the substance had already been appropriately vetted, pre-approved, and publicly disseminated,” they wrote to the agency. “Moreover, the tweet was made outside of NASDAQ trading hours.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Blumberg in San Francisco at pblumberg1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Wollman at ewollman@bloomberg.net, David Welch

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