Trump ‘considering role for Elon Musk in his administration’

Mr Musk is said to have discussed issues such as border security and the economy with Mr Trump
Mr Musk is said to have discussed issues such as border security and the economy with Mr Trump - REUTERS/David Swanson

Donald Trump is considering giving Elon Musk a plum advisory role if he wins the US presidential election, according to reports.

The presumptive Republican nominee is understood to have discussed how to give the billionaire Tesla chief executive influence over key policy issues including border security and the economy.

Mr Musk, 52, is also said to be working with Nelson Peltz, the billionaire investor, to convince elite business leaders to reject Joe Biden, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The pair reportedly informed Mr Trump about their plan at an event held at Mr Peltz’s Palm Beach estate, which Mr Musk’s son, named X, and Mr Trump’s youngest child, Barron, also attended.

Mr Musk and Mr Peltz are also said to be working on a data-driven project to combat voter fraud.

It marks a shift in the previously frosty relationship between Mr Trump and Mr Musk, which saw the two men publicly insult one another.

The pair reportedly speak on the phone a few times each month about topics ranging from immigration to the US Space Force. Mr Musk has also reportedly asked Mr Trump to return to posting on his social media platform X. Mr Trump now exclusively posts on his rival platform Truth Social.

Mr Trump and Mr Musk
Mr Trump and Mr Musk, seen here in 2017, reportedly speak on the phone a few times each month about various topics - AP Photo/Evan Vucci

News of the potential appointment comes as Mr Trump compared himself to Mother Teresa as the jury began deliberations in his historic hush money trial.

The jury of seven men and five women began weighing the verdict in the first criminal trial of a former US president just before 11:30am on Wednesday.

“Mother Teresa could not beat these charges. These charges are rigged”, Mr Trump told reporters shortly after the jurors retired.

The former president, 77, must remain at Manhattan Criminal Court throughout the deliberations.

Earlier in the day, Mr Trump leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes as Judge Juan Merchan read jurors their instructions.

Mr Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business documents to conceal a $130,000 payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election.

To convict Mr Trump, the jury will have to find unanimously that he created a fraudulent entry in his company’s records, or caused someone else to do so, and that he did so with the intent of committing or concealing another crime.

The crime prosecutors say Mr Trump committed or hid is a violation of a New York election law which makes it illegal for two or more conspirators “to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.”

While the jury must unanimously agree that something unlawful was done to promote Mr Trump’s election campaign, they do not have to agree on what that unlawful thing was.

“It is not my responsibility to judge the evidence here. It is yours,” Mr Merchan told jurors as he handed them the case.

“You are the judges of the facts and you are responsible for deciding whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.”

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

On Musk, Brian Hughes, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told the Wall Street Journal: “President Trump will be the only voice of what role an individual plays in his presidency.”

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