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Elon Musk: 'Twitter's a war zone'

The serial entrepreneur opines about Twitter, Tesla, and the SEC during an interview with 60 Minutes.

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Elon Musk on 60 Minutes. 

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Sunday night talked Twitter, Tesla and his disrespect for the US Securities and Exchange Commission during an interview on 60 Minutes

Musk faced scrutiny this year for several controversies, including his battle with a Thai cave rescue diver, a settlement with the SEC and Tesla's production speed. And the billionaire, who's also CEO of Space X, tweeted at every step of the way.

"Twitter's a war zone," Musk told 60 Minutes. (Editors' note: CNET is owned by CBS, which airs 60 Minutes.) "If somebody's gonna jump in the war zone, it's, like, 'Okay, you're in the arena. Let's go!'"

Musk also said several times during the interview that he doesn't respect the SEC, though he is abiding the settlement terms. In October, the agency settled a lawsuit with Musk that stemmed from an August tweet where he floated the possibility of taking Tesla private. The SEC said in its complaint the tweet "caused significant confusion and disruption in the market for Tesla's stock and resulting harm to investors."

Musk was forced to step down as chairman of Tesla's board and had to pay a $20 million fine. He once again took it to Twitter and called SEC the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission."

"We can confirm the settlement is being complied with," a Tesla spokesperson commented the SEC settlement in an email. "This includes having a policy (which technically needs to be in place by December 28) that requires pre-approval of any communications that reasonably could contain material information.

Musk said he uses Twitter to express himself and that his tweets aren't supervised unless they would cause the stock to move.

In addition, Musk talked about why he open-sourced Tesla's patents, saying competition in the electric cars industry is good for the environment.  

"The whole point of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of electric vehicles … We think it's the most serious problem that humanity faces," said Musk. "If somebody comes and makes a better electric car than Tesla and it's so much better than ours that we can't sell our cars, and we go bankrupt, I still think that's a good thing for the world."

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