Elon Musk called his Bank of America lawsuit a ‘Twitter business’

Elon Musk called his on-the-air communications with Bank of America Merrill Lynch “Twitter business” after JPMorgan Chase & Co. sued Tesla Motors Inc. and its billionaire CEO on Thursday, alleging that the tweet was…

Elon Musk called his Bank of America lawsuit a ‘Twitter business’

Elon Musk called his on-the-air communications with Bank of America Merrill Lynch “Twitter business” after JPMorgan Chase & Co. sued Tesla Motors Inc. and its billionaire CEO on Thursday, alleging that the tweet was “patently false.”

“JPMorgan has taken its ‘just because you’re on Twitter, doesn’t mean you’re not lying’ policy,” Musk said in an interview on CNBC from the California desert where the first production cars were rolled out.

“Well I think you know a statement you made on Twitter is correct, it’s true, it’s entirely true. Twitter is business,” the PayPal co-founder added.

JPMorgan, which is more than 30 percent owned by Tesla, sought to recover fees it had paid to help close a deal for financing Tesla with Bank of America, according to a letter from Tesla that was part of the complaint. Tesla said in a statement it hired the investment bank to help with its construction financing efforts and JPMorgan was also underwriter of the financing.

JPMorgan sued Tesla and Musk in California state court, seeking to recover an estimated $162 million, according to the complaint.

Bank of America and Tesla denied JPMorgan’s claims, saying they had “no obligation to, or duty to, provide services and did not.”

The dispute between JPMorgan and Tesla comes at a critical time as the carmaker looks to raise funds ahead of a Model 3 launch this summer, as well as deals with rival companies to set up charging stations and other infrastructure.

Tesla was in talks with Chinese partners, Bloomberg reported earlier on Thursday.

And on Thursday, the company postponed plans to roll out the Model 3 by one week to May 5.

Earlier on Thursday, Musk had tweeted: “The Model 3 is (a) hella frugal to maintain. The Semi is awesome to own and maintain. The Roadster is both awesome to own and maintain.”

Tesla later issued a statement, saying the tweet was not meant to make a financial statement statement, as its supply agreement specifies, but just to outline the benefits of the trucks to its owners.

Tesla said it was still reviewing the lawsuit.

“The only need is to explain that Tesla’s Energy business is designed so that owners of its Model S and Model X cars can run their own power generating equipment using Tesla Powerwalls and Powerpacks,” Tesla said.

Musk was responding to a question by CNBC about his comment, made on Twitter, that the company is building a $5 billion factory that can produce 500,000 electric cars per year by 2020.

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