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Elon Musk likens billionaire George Soros to X-Men supervillain Magneto after he dumps Tesla stock

Elon Musk lashed out at George Soros after the billionaire liquidated his stake in Tesla, smearing the 92-year-old in a personal attack. Fresh from picking a new CEO for his financially troubled Twitter acquisition, the entrepreneur compared the Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor to the nemesis of Marvel’s popular band of mutant protagonists. “Soros reminds me of Magneto,” he wrote on Monday, claiming the philanthropist uses his considerable wealth to the detriment of mankind. The world’s second-wealthiest businessman did not explain what prompted his attack on Soros, but a quarterly SEC filing last week revealed that the investor dumped his entire $16 million stake in Musk’s company last week, along with most of his shares in EV rival Rivian.

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It's unclear if Musk realizes what a loaded comparison he was making. In early 1960s comics, the X-Men character began as a villain leading the "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants," but a retcon in the '80s transformed him into a tragic antihero, explaining his hatred of humankind in a flashback where he escaped a Nazi death camp but not before losing every member of his family. This narrative will be familiar to fans of the X-Men film adaptations from the aughts.

In his Monday tweets targeting Soros, Musk claimed the Hungarian-born financier, who achieved worldwide notoriety in 1992 for crashing the U.K. pound, "hates humanity" and “wants to erode the very fabric of civilization.” Musk did not elaborate.

Musk's battle with critics

It’s not unusual for Musk to lash out at his critics.

While he rewards those that support his business endeavors and talks favorably about them, such as Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, he can be equally vindicative towards critics and short-sellers.

When Bill Gates asked him to join in a philanthropic cause, the CEO of Tesla refused on the basis that the Microsoft co-founder placed bearish bets against his EV manufacturer. Musk then made light of Gates’ body.

Attacks on Soros by conservatives are commonplace since he funds a lot of civic causes through his Open Society Foundations, in particular in Eastern Europe and his native Hungary following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

These are typically aimed at strengthening democracy and discouraging the return of toxic nationalism that led to two world wars.

Among the alt-right, however, this stance against ethnic identity has earned him virulent criticism.

He often ranks alongside World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab and the Rothschild banking dynasty at the top of their list for globalist elites supposedly looking to exert control over everything and everyone.

Since Soros is Jewish, however, attacks on his person are often interpreted as antisemitic dog-whistling. The comparison to Magneto is problematic to contemporary comics fans, as the character has joined the roster of the X-Men multiple times, most recently in 2019, when (spoiler alert) he co-founded a breakaway mutant island nation called Krakoa, which some critics have compared to Israel.

Musk’s accomplishments in electric vehicles and artificial intelligence have mostly insulated him from blowback over his increasingly controversial social media presence.

But he got himself into hot water before, and it is not the first time that the red-pilled Democrat-turned-Republican has inflamed sensitivities on the issue of anti-Jewish bigotry.

In one recent Twitter post Musk portrayed himself as a musketeer with both Kanye West and Donald Trump, who were both under fire at the time either for remarks that were outright antisemitic or in the case of the former president borrowed heavily from negative stereotypes.

In another, he effectively claimed that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was worse than Adolf Hitler, who murdered six million Jews.

“Enough! Hitler isn’t a meme Elon Musk, he was evil incarnate,” the Jewish advocacy group Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted from its official account, calling on the tycoon to apologize to Trudeau.

Musk targeted in Epstein case

Musk has repeatedly cast himself in the benevolent role of mankind’s greatest fan and a protector of the innocent whose top priority at Twitter is to root out child exploitation on the platform.

On Monday however, his connections to convicted sex trafficker Jefferey Epstein once again came under the spotlight when news emerged that he was subpoenaed late last month along with several other wealthy tech entrepreneurs.

The court order demands Musk turn over any evidence involving his exchanges with the deceased money manager and J.P. Morgan that may pertain to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Virgin Islands against the Wall Street bank.

This included “all documents [in Musk’s possession] reflecting or regarding Epstein’s involvement in human trafficking and/or his procurement of girls or women for consensual sex.”

The Tesla CEO and Twitter owner called the subpoena, which suggests Musk may have been advised by Epstein but does not accuse him of any wrongdoing, “absurd” and “idiotic on so many levels” on Monday.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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