Tesla chief executive Elon Musk met with President Donald Trump on Friday as part of an economic advisory council, hours after the billionaire defended his role on Twitter the night before.
Musk, who also founded private space exploration company SpaceX, decided to stay on the economic forum even after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down following intense criticism.
Kalanick specifically cited Trump’s controversial executive order banning immigration and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries as the reason he left the council. A “Delete Uber” campaign began after the executive order was issued and 200,000 users deleted the ridesharing app, according to the New York Times.
Musk said he believed he could push the president away from the immigration ban and other policies that many in Silicon Valley, a historically left-leaning enclave, believe are harmful.
“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,” Musk wrote in a statement posted on Twitter late Thursday. “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.”
In Kalanick’s note to employees that revealed he would leave Trump’s advisory council, he said there was a “misperception” by the public that his position on the council amounted to support for the new White House’s policies.
In his statement, Musk made the same argument.
“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration,” he noted. “My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planetary 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.”