US Republican presidential candidate Ramaswamy confirms Musk attended fundraiser

By Alexandra Ulmer

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Longshot U.S. Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy confirmed to Reuters on Saturday that Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk attended a fundraiser for him in Northern California.

“He showed up late at night and we had a conversation,” Ramaswamy said in an interview at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) weekend donor gathering in Las Vegas.

Puck, a digital media group, reported this month that Musk had recently attended a fundraiser in Silicon Valley hosted by prolific SPAC investor Chamath Palihapitiya.

Asked about whether Musk could donate to him, Ramaswamy said “my only discussions with Elon have been about… cultural direction for the country.”

“He and I are increasingly alone in this world as being free speech absolutists and that I think is different from a lot of people in both parties. I think that’s something he and I see eye to eye on,” Ramaswamy said.

Reuters was not immediately able to request a comment from Musk. An email to an address linked to Palihapitiya was not immediately answered.

Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has also been seen to be courting Musk, whom Forbes says is the world’s richest man with an estimated $222 billion in wealth.

Musk said in June 2022 that he may support DeSantis for president in 2024, and DeSantis went on to hold a glitchy launch to his presidential bid on Musk’s social media site X, previously known as Twitter.

Since, Ramaswamy has held his own X Spaces talking events with Musk. “Hopefully we will do some more of those X Spaces,” he said on Saturday.

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by David Gregorio)