In his latest interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump praised Tesla and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, calling him one of the world’s “great geniuses.”

Speaking with CNBC's “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernen, Trump said, “You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison, and we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb and the wheel and all of these things. And he’s one of our very smart people, and we want to cherish those people.”

Trump praised Musk’s perseverance and innovative technologies. In 2018, Musk was forced to step down as chairman of Tesla and paid a $20 million dollar fine for allegedly misleading investors by tweeting "funding secured."

ADVERTISEMENT

Musk's struggle echoes Trump's impeachment battle as the Senate hears opening arguments from President Trump's legal team. 

“I spoke to him very recently, and he’s also doing the rockets. He likes rockets. And he does good at rockets, too, by the way. I never saw where the engines come down with no wings, no anything, and they’re landing. I said 'I’ve never seen that before',” the president said.

Tesla is currently listed as having a $100 billion dollar stock market value, pushing it past Ford Motors and General Motors combined. Company shares have doubled in the last three months and now sell for $591.78 dollars, up from a previous $177 share price in June 2019. 

Trump's compliments are somewhat surprising as Musk expressed his dismay to Recode reporter Kara Swisher when Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. 

Published on Jan 22, 2020