Watch the Elon Musk interview that probably ended Don Lemon’s partnership with Twitter/X

<div>Watch the Elon Musk interview that probably ended Don Lemon’s partnership with Twitter/X</div>
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A composite of Don Lemon and Elon Musk on

Last week, Twitter/X owner Elon Musk cancelled the platform’s partnership with former CNN host Don Lemon. This decision came mere hours after the two had filmed an interview for The Don Lemon Show, a new talk show that would have been exclusive to Twitter/X

Now The Don Lemon Show‘s premiere episode has been released, offering a look at the footage that may have prompted Musk to bring the collaboration to an unexpected and abrupt end. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t the softball, feelgood chat the billionaire had likely been hoping for.

Released Monday on Twitter/X, YouTube, and as an audio podcast, the hour-long interview began cordially enough. Musk largely agreed with Lemon’s characterisation of him as a “free speech absolutist,” adding the caveat that he was for free speech “as much as possible within the bounds of the law.”

However, the interview quickly strayed into more sensitive subjects that had Tesla’s CEO noticeably uncomfortable. Musk was demure about his recent meeting with Donald Trump, asserting that the former president did not ask him for money, but declining to provide any detail on exactly what they’d spoken about. Lemon also asked Musk about his sobriety when making controversial statements, prompting the latter to deny any impairment and state that he uses prescription ketamine to help him get out of a “depressive mind state” every other week.

The conversation got even more tense when Lemon questioned Musk on his posting habits, particularly his apparent endorsement of the “great replacement theory” — a conspiracy theory that claims white people are being purposefully replaced by immigrants and people of colour. 

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Advertisers fled Twitter/X last year after Musk seemed to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories, posting his agreement with a claim that Jewish communities are pushing “hatred against whites.” Though Musk later said he was sorry if his post encouraged anti-Semites, he refused to delete the post

“I didn’t call it a ‘conspiracy,'” Musk told Lemon, stating that he believes the Democratic party has an “incentive” to “usher in” undocumented immigrants to help them win elections. “You don’t need a conspiracy in that case because you have a very basic incentive. You could say that I’m wrong about that incentive, but that’s my view.”

Lemon then questioned Musk about a Twitter/X post which used the phrase “Hispanic invasion,” which he reportedly quoted and shared.

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“If I quote something, it doesn’t mean I agree with everything in it,” said Musk. “It’s just something that I want — I think this is something worth — people should consider.”

“Why would you quote something that you didn’t believe in?” asked Lemon.

“Because anything I quote is gonna have a whole range of statements,” Musk replied. “It doesn’t mean I agree with everything in it.”

Musk didn’t provide any further clarity as to why he believed “Hispanic invasion” an idea worth considering. He also reacted poorly to Lemon’s suggestion that Twitter/X could have better content moderation, which might have prevented him from having to face reporters asking him about racist conspiracy theories.

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“I don’t have to answer questions from reporters,” said Musk, cutting Lemon off. “Don, the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on the X platform and you asked for it. Otherwise I would not do this interview.”

Considering such contentious exchanges, it’s no surprise Musk terminated Twitter/X’s partnership with Lemon mere hours after the interview concluded.

Musk has been vocal about his newfound disdain for Lemon since the interview was recorded, calling the journalist “a pompous fool who spouts nonsense.” 

“I welcome the opportunity to share #TheDonLemonShow on X and I challenge you @Elonmusk to actually watch it and then tell me it isn’t exactly what you said you want on your platform,” Lemon posted in response.

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