Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest tweeting man, deleted a tweet Thursday suggesting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is worse than Adolf Hitler, the dictator responsible for the Holocaust.
It’s just the latest tweet from Musk involving himself in domestic Canadian affairs since the anti-vaccine mandate “freedom convoy” became a cause célèbre among right-wing American personalities and crypto-bros. The so-called “freedom convoy,” which has laid siege to the Canadian capital city of Ottawa for three weeks, initially claimed to be a protest over international vaccine mandates for truckers, a labour group that Tesla could actually help downsize if self-driving truck plans go well for them.
However, very few “freedom convoy” organizers actually have any relationship to the trucking industry, and the protest has been a grab bag for conspiracy theories, general distaste for the government (especially Trudeau), anti-vaccine misinformation, symbols of hate, and even an alleged murder plot by men connected to a shitposting group.
Earlier this week, Trudeau announced he was enacting the Emergencies Act, which gave the federal government sweeping new powers to tackle the convoy. One of the new powers authorities are using is cracking down on cryptocurrency (and regular banking) being used to financially support the protest.
That apparently was a bridge too far for Musk, who tweeted a photo of Adolf Hitler, again, the man responsible for the Holocaust and the murder of 6 million Jewish people, with a text bubble saying “stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget.” Musk’s tweet was a reply to crypto trade pub Coindesk’s tweet about Trudeau’s plans.
The reaction was swift. Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s former right hand man, wrote on Twitter: “The only reason I don’t own a Tesla is because Elon Musk is a dick.”
The American Jewish Committee called on Musk to apologize.
“Comparing @CanadianPM Justin Trudeau to a genocidal dictator who murdered millions is not an appropriate way to criticize policies,” the organization wrote on Twitter.
Musk’s vague and ill-guided interest in Canadian affairs could have to do with the fact that he moved to Canada in his late teens and briefly attended Queen’s University in Ontario.
Musk-Canadian relations had previously been warm and beneficial to Tesla’s bottom line.
Tesla drivers have received roughly $100 million in subsidies from the Canadian government due to a Trudeau policy, the Associated Press has reported, more than any other electric automaker.