A fiery Elon Musk pushed back on published reports that disgraced FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried owns Twitter shares.
In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, the billionaire called out Semafor for its “fake news” report that alleged Bankman-Fried rolled his $100 million holdings of Twitter, when it was public, into private shares, according to Fox News.
“All public holders of Twitter were allowed to roll their stock into Twitter as a private company, but he did not do so,” Twitter’s new boss tweeted. “Your reporting made it falsely sound like he did, when in fact he owns 0%.”
Semafor — which launched last month with Bankman-Fried as one of the startup’s main investors — said the fallen crypto king owned a sizable chunk of Twitter, according to an FTX balance sheet prepared after Musk completed his takeover on Oct. 28 and then circulated to investors.
“SBF/FTX do not own shares in Twitter,” Musk said, referring to Bankman-Fried’s better-known moniker.
Semafor’s Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith defended his outlet’s reporting and produced the alleged private exchange between Musk and Bankman-Fried, where Musk seems to encourage the FTX founder to roll his shares.
Musk again debunked the report and challenged Semafor’s independence in a later tweet.
“Semafor is owned by SBF. This is a massive conflict of interest in your reporting.”
Musk also noted that Bankman-Fried invested in Vox and The Intercept.
“If SBF was as good at running a crypto exchange as he was at bribing media, FTX would still be solvent!” jabbed Musk.
Renowned tech reporter Kara Swisher joined the fray and sided with Semafor.
“Of course Elon took the $ and then dunked on SBF, because it is all a game that you all aren’t supposed to see,” she tweeted
Musk responded, “There was a time when you cared about the truth. That is long gone.”
Musk also discredited a similar claim about Twitter’s ties to Bankman-Fried that was published by Business Insider.
“Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly owns a $100 million stake in Elon Musk’s Twitter,” a news headline from the outlet read.
To which Musk replied: “[Business Insider] is not a real publication.”
Fox News contributed reporting