Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter and Tesla, met House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jefferies at the US Capitol in Washington on Thursday night.
McCarthy, leaving the meeting with Musk in his office, declined to comment other than to say, “He came over for my birthday.” The California Republican turned fifty-eighth Thursday.
After the meeting, Musk wrote on Twitter that he met with McCarthy and Jeffries to “discuss ensuring this platform is fair for both parties.”
According to a source familiar with the matter, Jefferies met with McCarthy in part to receive a law enforcement briefing on Capitol Hill preparations in the event of protests following the expected release of video Friday of the arrest. Nichols Photoswho died earlier this month after stopping traffic.
Musk later arrived for a separate meeting with McCarthy — and Jeffries had a brief interaction with the billionaire businessman. The Twitter thread was brought up, but the source did not provide details.
Jeffries left soon after, the source said, and McCarthy stayed with Musk until the speaker left for the vote.
The meeting between Musk and congressional leaders comes as the House Oversight Committee plans a hearing next month that will focus on Twitter and how it handled a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Members of the House Republican convention promised strict oversight of big tech platforms and social media, which they accused of conservative oversight.
The commission has called three former Twitter employees to testify, and is in active discussions with the trio about appearing before the commission, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The sources said the committee was considering February 8 as a possible target date for the hearing.
The way Twitter handled the Hunter Biden laptop story has been the subject of several reports in the Twitter Files, the company’s communications released to journalists handpicked by Musk and his team at Twitter. Twitter filings showed the company’s moderation team agonizing over how to handle the initial stories about the saga. Although early news reports were banned or downplayed, the company quickly reversed course and allowed them to be published and discussed on the platform.
Musk has earned a reputation as a polarizing figure in the tech industry and for his political views. He has frequently weighed publicly in the US politics and political landscape in recent months. Musk said he has voted for Democrats and Republicans in the past but has favored conservatives recently and says he identifies as a Republican.
The meeting comes amid a shift in political power in Washington after the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in January and McCarthy’s election as president.
This story and title has been updated with additional developments.
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