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Elon Musk Defends His “500k Cars In 2019” Tweet, Claims SEC Is Seeking Retaliation

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Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has defended a recent tweet that prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to ask a judge to maintain the entrepreneur in contempt for violating their settlement.

On February 19, Musk tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019. ” He later corrected that tweet saying “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 likely around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still anticipated to be about 400k. ”

As part of a settlement Musk reached with the SEC last year after his now-infamous ‘take Tesla private’ tweet, the chief executive agreed to have the firm oversee his tweeting and accept any tweets before they’re published. Tesla admitted that it didn’t approve Musk’s first February 19 tweet.

Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 likely around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still anticipated to be about 400k.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019

In a new development, Musk’s lawyers have produced a 33-page document defending the tweet. In the document, it is contended that Musk’s production-related tweet “was a shorthand gloss on topics that had already been covered in depth in business filings and an earnings call with analysts. ”

“Any reasonable investor could have read the tweet with reference to the much more thorough disclosures and extensive discussions on the same topics,” the document states.

Additionally, Musk’s attorneys assert that the SEC is searching for an “unconstitutional power grab” in its pursuit of Musk and assert that it is retaliation for its outspoken executive recently saying, “I do not respect the SEC. ”

Reuters reports that the SEC has received permission from a federal judge to react to Musk’s protection of his tweet. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will have until March 19 to file a short and both parties have until March 26 to request an evidentiary hearing.

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