Alex Wong/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
- The Biden administration reportedly considered an official review of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.
- The White House had national security concerns over its foreign investors, per Bloomberg.
- Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund are among its investors.
The Biden administration considered subjecting Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover to an official review over national security concerns, Bloomberg reported.
That’s because they feared foreign nationals who helped finance the deal could have accessed Twitter user data, provoking concerns in the intelligence community, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
Changpeng Zhao, the Binance CEO; Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund are all investors in Musk’s Twitter.
The sovereign wealth fund contributed $375 million to Musk’s $44 billion takeover, SEC filings show. Binance invested $500 million into the deal, while bin Talal committed to buying nearly 35 million shares to the tune of $1.9 billion, per the SEC filing.
Some in the Biden administration considered whether Musk’s deal should be brought in front of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which can block business transactions over security concerns, Bloomberg reported.
But the outlet added that the Treasury ruled this out on legal grounds, citing people familiar with the matter.
Insider reported last December that Musk was pictured with the CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority just hours before tweeting a poll on whether he should step down as Twitter boss.
The timing of Musk’s poll led the BBC to question whether Twitter investors in the Middle East may have called a meeting to question his management of the company.
The QIA boss later told Bloomberg: “We trust his leadership in terms of turning around the company.”
Top Biden officials also fear that Musk is close to untouchable thanks to his sprawling business empire, per Bloomberg. For example, he has influence over the war in Ukraine thanks to the country’s use of Starlink to communicate, and has raised prices.
In response to Insider’s request for comment on the government’s concerns, Twitter responded with a poop emoji – an auto-reply Musk announced Sunday.
The White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside US working hours.