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Musk told fellow tech giants he was upset at number of Twitter bots after backing out of $44bn deal, report says

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Elon Musk “tripled down” on his claim that Twitter was under-reporting the number of spam accounts on its platform during an address to tech moguls, according to a new report.

Mr Musk spoke to a high-powered audience of media executives at the Allen & Co Sun Valley Conference in Idaho on Saturday, one day after he tried to pull out of the $44bn (£37bn) deal to take over the social media platform.

It was reported on Saturday that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO had avoided talking about Twitter during an on-stage, off-the-record interview with Sam Altman, CEO of artificial intelligence research company OpenAI.

But CNN’s chief media correspondent Brian Stelter claimed on Sunday that Mr Musk had in fact brought up the elephant in the room.

Mr Musk reportedly told the audience that “nobody believes Twitter’s claim that bots are under 5 per cent of the total usage”, Mr Stelter said, citing an anonymous source who was in the room.

“He apparently went on about the deal. There are some headlines you are going to see out there saying he avoided the subject, but I’m told he did talk about Twitter,” added Stelter, speaking on Reliable Sources.

“He tripled down on his decision to try to back out of the deal, and he’s claiming it’s about bots.”

According to reports, Mr Musk spent most of the interview talking about colonising Mars and boosting birth rates on Earth in a wide-ranging conversation.

Mr Musk agreed to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share in April, waiving his right to due diligence. Since then, he has repeatedly complained that Twitter misrepresented the number of fake accounts on its platform.

Elon Musk wants to pull out of his $44bn takeover of Twitter (Getty for TIME)
Elon Musk wants to pull out of his $44bn takeover of Twitter (Getty for TIME)

When Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal defended the company’s handling of bots in May, Mr Musk responded with a poop emoji.

On Friday, Mr Musk sought to terminate the deal after his lawyers claimed the social media company “appears to have made false and misleading representations” in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Twitter’s board chair Bret Taylor said that the company would pursue legal action to force Mr Musk to complete the sale.

Mr Musk was last week revealed to have had twins with Shivon Zilis, an executive at his SpaceX company, last year.

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