No basis for investigating Musk Twitter purchase, Yellen says

Janet Yellen
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, May 7, 2021, in Washington. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

No basis for investigating Musk Twitter purchase, Yellen says

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she doesn’t see any basis for a security review of Tesla founder Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter, despite speculation about an inquiry.

The remarks are likely to tamp down conjecture that the Biden administration will probe the acquisition, a scenario that gained footing after President Joe Biden suggested to reporters that the purchase is “worthy of being looked at” through a national security lens.

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“Well, I’m not sure precisely what [Biden] had in mind, but we are — we have really no basis — to the best of my knowledge — to examine his finances of his company. I’m not aware of concerns that would cause us to [investigate],” Yellen told CBS News Tuesday.

“I don’t think we have the basis to launch some investigation,” she added when asked to clarify if she had any concerns about the deal.

Biden’s previous statements about the Musk deal generated much media attention as they suggested a potential showdown between the world’s wealthiest person and the White House. The suggestion of a U.S. investigation centered on whether the social media platform poses a national security threat due to the involvement of foreign financing.

“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” Biden said of the purchase. “Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate, I’m not suggesting that. I’m suggesting that it’s worth being looked at. And — but that’s all I’ll say.”

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Yellen’s remarks seem to pour cold water on a potential inquiry, especially because she serves as chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which can look into domestic business deals that involve foreign investment.

The CFIUS would have the authority to suspend a deal like the one in question if it found a threat to national security.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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