Elon Musk slammed President Joe Biden’s push to free WNBA player Brittney Griner from Russia for a drug offense while thousands of Americans are locked up at home for similar crimes.
Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison late last week after Russian prosecutors had argued that Griner, who was convicted of deliberately sneaking marijuana vaping materials into the country, should serve 9 1/2 years in prison.
“If the president is working so hard to free someone who is in jail in Russia for some weed, shouldn’t we free people in America?” Musk said during a podcast interview last week. “There are people in jail in America for the same stuff. Shouldn’t we free them too? My opinion is that people should not be in jail for non-violent drug crimes.”
The Biden administration has reportedly offered to exchange notorious Russian weapons trafficker Viktor Bout, who was convicted of terrorism charges, in exchange for the release of Griner and Paul Whelan.
During the podcast, Musk revealed that after he briefly smoked marijuana during an episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” he was forced to submit to random drug tests for a year.
“I did get a lot of backlash, because it’s still federally illegal,” Musk said. “Space X has federal government contracts, so our competitors were like, ‘Why aren’t you doing anything? Look at him brazenly smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast.’ They drug tested me for everything.”
Musk also made news over the weekend by publicly challenging Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a debate over Twitter’s claims that less than 5% of the accounts on the platform are spam accounts.
The challenge comes as Twitter and Musk engage in a legal battle over the company as Musk attempts to back out of his $44 billion purchase of the company over allegations that the company withheld key information on how many accounts are spam accounts which Musk’s team argues has created a “material adverse effect.”
Musk’s team conducted an analysis of the accounts on Twitter using a publicly available tool called “Botometer,” which was created by researchers at the University of Indiana.
Musk’s team alleges that spam accounts make up approximately one-third of the accounts on the platform and comprise roughly 10% of the platform’s monetizable daily active users (mDAU).
Musk issued the debate challenge in response to a Twitter thread from cybersecurity researcher Andrea Stroppa.
“Good summary of the problem,” Musk tweeted. “If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms. However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
“I hereby challenge @paraga to a public debate about the Twitter bot percentage,” Musk added. “Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!”
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.