FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Elon Musk Discussing What ‘Every Failed Leader’ He’s Met Has In Common?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Instagram purports to show Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk commenting on a specific trait he found in all “failed” world leaders.

Verdict: False

The video is digitally altered. In the original video, Musk discusses projects he’s working on at Tesla and SpaceX.

Fact Check:

A trial surrounding Musk’s 2018 tweet about securing funding to make Tesla a private company began Jan. 17, The New York Times reported. The Twitter CEO also warned that President Joe Biden could “weaponize” federal agencies against the company if former President Donald Trump returned to the platform, according to Fox Business.

The Instagram post, liked over 120,000 times, purports to show Musk making comments regarding what every failed leader he’s ever met has in common.

“You want to know the one thing that every failed leader that I ever met had in common? They don’t know the job of the people they were in charge of,” Musk allegedly says in the video. He then elaborates on specific examples to prove his point.

The video is digitally altered. There are no credible news reports attributing the purported remark to Musk. Likewise, no such comment appears on Musk’s verified Twitter account. In addition, the purported comment neither appears on Tesla’s nor SpaceX’s verified social media accounts.

A keyword search generates the original video of Musk speaking with TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson, in May 2017. In the video, Musk discusses projects he’s working on at Tesla and SpaceX. The video opens with Musk explaining a tunnel project focused on digging holes in Los Angeles to mitigate traffic issues.

At no point during his conversation with Anderson does Musk make the purported remark about failed leaders. (RELATED: Did Elon Musk Announce He’s Running For President In 2024?)

Check Your Fact has contacted Musk for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter