Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, will stay on a White House advisory council despite pressure to step down and public outrage over President Donald Trump's executive order to bar immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
A new statement from Musk released on Thursday night stands in contrast to that of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who resigned from the council earlier that day following heavy criticism of how the ride-hailing company responded to Trump's executive order.
The immigration order, signed by the President on Jan. 27, has sparked widespread protests over the past week, as well as condemnation from CEOs at some of the country's largest businesses, including Ford Motor, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Yahoo.
The President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which is headed by Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and includes Musk, BlackRock’s Larry Fink, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, J.P. Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, and General Motors' Mary Barra, is set to have its first meeting Friday.
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Musk, who recently reached out to his nearly 7 million Twitter followers for their suggestions on changes to the immigration ban, said in an emailed statement (that was also shared on Twitter) that his position on the advisory council is not necessarily an endorsement of the President's policies.
Below is Musk's entire statement:
“In December, I agreed to join the Presidential Advisory Forum to provide feedback on issues that I think are important for our country and the world. In tomorrow’s meeting, I and others will express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration and offer suggestions for changes to the policy.
Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration. My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all. I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.”
Musk, in response to an earlier question via Twitter, had also said he would advise against the ban.
The tech CEO has also said recently that "simply attacking" the President "will achieve nothing." Asked by another Twitter user in January about "losing" credibility, Musk responded that he was "just trying to make a positive contribution."