Elon Musk criticizes Semafor report of Bankman-Fried’s Twitter shares

Quick Take

  • Elon Musk criticized a Semafor report on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s ownership of private shares of Twitter, calling the article a lie.

  • Bankman-Fried invested in Semafor, which Musk said represents a conflict of interest in terms of unbiased coverage.

A spat between Elon Musk and a Sam Bankman-Fried-funded global news organization unfolded over Twitter as Musk branded Semafor’s reporting as lies.

“As I said, neither I nor Twitter have taken any investment from SBF/FTX. Your article is a lie,” Musk said, in response to Semafor Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith in a Twitter thread.

Prompting the criticism from Musk is a Semafor report that said Bankman-Fried “contributed $100 million in stock towards the now-private Twitter,” citing previously unreported texts between the two. 

Musk openly criticized Semafor over the coverage and said Semafor is owned by Bankman-Fried, which he called “a massive conflict of interest.”

Prior to Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the social media giant, texts between Musk and Bankman-Fried on May 5 revealed what might have been a joint investment, according to Semafor, with Bankman-Fried potentially rolling a previously acquired $100 million stake of the company into Musk’s buyout. 

Despite that, the deal was not to be, as Bankman-Fried ultimately decided not to participate in the Twitter acquisition, a source with knowledge previously told The Block.

Musk refuted any claims that Bankman-Fried owns shares in Twitter. “No. He may have owned shares in Twitter as a public company, but he certainly does not own shares in Twitter as a private company,” Musk said.

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

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