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In Full Interview, Elon Musk Tells Don Lemon He’s Learned Nothing

Don Lemon has published his full interview with Elon Musk, and it’s exactly the wide-ranging doozy you’d expect ― with an extra dash of racist conspiracy theories.

The at-times chippy conversation released Monday was both the first and last in an exclusive content deal Lemon claims Musk had pitched him. That deal ended hours after the interview earlier this month.

But Lemon insists he hasn’t been “canceled,” despite saying literally exactly that last week.

“Contrary to what you might have heard, we weren’t canceled by X,” he said in the show’s introduction. “Yes, after months of begging me, wooing me to offer some exclusive content on his platform, Elon Musk decided to scrap the deal.”

The former CNN anchor kicked off the hourlong discussion with a question about X (formerly Twitter) and its role in the future of journalism, which Musk used to trumpet his platform’s numbers.

“X is already the No. 1 source of news in the world,” he replied, without any data to support the claim. “It’s the No. 1 way people are informed about any kind of news.”

That led to a longer conversation about the type of content X now tends to boost, including posts from Musk himself, who forced advertisers to flee last year after he amplified an antisemitic conspiracy theory and called it “the actual truth.” Readers may recall Musk pledging to sue the Anti-Defamation League for defamation over the lost revenue and also telling companies who paused ad buys to “go fuck yourself.”

After the uproar, Musk did damage control by visiting the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where he conceded he’d been “naïve” about the prevalence of antisemitism, claiming he sees almost none “in the circles that I move in.”

But none of that seemed to register in the interview Lemon shared.

“You went to Auschwitz with [conservative podcaster] Ben Shapiro,” Lemon opened. “You said you learned your lesson. What did you learn?”

“I said I learned my lesson?” a baffled Musk responded.

Lemon then walked Musk through several racist terror attacks in recent years motivated by “great replacement theory” ― which the tech billionaire distanced himself from because he’d only retweeted the theory, not authored the tweets himself.

“Great replacement theory is a neo-Nazi trope,” Lemon said. “It’s in the neo-Nazi manifesto... It’s referenced by the Buffalo mass shooter in his manifesto where 10 Black people were murdered in Buffalo. It’s the actual title of the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto. Fifty-one people in the Muslim mosque were murdered. Twenty-three people murdered in El Paso by a shooter who uses the same language that you use — in that manifesto when you say ‘Hispanic invasion.’”

“I don’t say ‘Hispanic invasion,’” Musk interjected.

Informed that he had in fact quoted a tweet that used the term, Musk quibbled: “If I quote something, that doesn’t mean I agree with everything in it. It’s just something that I want... I think... this is something people should consider.”

The racist “great replacement theory” posits that white Christians are being intentionally replaced by immigrants, people of color and non-Christians.

Musk, on the defense, then dismissed Lemon’s suggestion that he moderate his conduct to avoid similarly embarrassing questions from reporters in the future.

“I don’t have to answer these questions,” he fired back. “I don’t have to answer questions from reporters. Don, the only reason I’m in this interview is because you’re on the X platform and you asked for it. Otherwise I would not do this interview.

“I’m criticized constantly. I could care less.”

After the interview, Musk abruptly canceled a partnership between X and Lemon to produce exclusive content for the platform. While Lemon said he thought they had “a good conversation,” “clearly [Musk] felt differently.”

Musk responded by throwing shade at Lemon’s former employer, CNN.

″[Lemon’s] approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media’, which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying.”

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