Elon Musk backs Trump on space force: ‘I actually like' it

Elon Musk backs Trump on space force: ‘I actually like' it
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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a new interview that he supports President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE's plan to create a "space force" as the sixth U.S. military branch.

Musk said in an interview with Recode that aired Friday that he likes the idea and thinks "it's cool." He likened the need for a space force to the original need for the Air Force decades ago. 

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"Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool. You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing, and like, 'Oh, how silly to have an Air Force!' You know, because the aircraft in World War II were managed by the Army," he said.

"It became pretty obvious that you really needed a specialized division to manage aircraft. And so the Air Force was created. And people today may not realize back then it was wildly panned as a ridiculous thing to create the Air Force, but now everyone’s like, 'Obviously you should have an Air Force.' And I think it’s gonna become obvious that we should have a Space Force, too," Musk added.

Musk said a space force would be necessary for "defense in space" and that it "could be pretty helpful for maybe expanding our civilization."

Trump in June directed the Pentagon to create a space force, saying at the time that "we must have American dominance in space." 

The announcement sparked criticism, with Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups How Jim Bridenstine recruited an old enemy to advise NASA MORE (D-Fla.), for example, warning that such a move will “rip the Air Force apart.”