Bloomberg — Elon Musk, chief executive for Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and SpaceX, is traveling to Brazil to meet with Jair Bolsonaro just five months before the right-wing president seeks a second term in national elections, according to the communications minister.
The world’s richest man will be received by Bolsonaro Friday at a hotel about 70 miles from Sao Paulo, the country’s financial capital, local newspaper O Globo reported Thursday, without saying how it obtained the information. It added that the gathering was organized by Communications Minister Fabio Faria, who visited the billionaire last year in the US.
Tesla and SpaceX did not respond to an inquiry about Musk’s travel plans. His plane was scheduled to depart to Brazil, according to an automated Twitter account maintained by Jack Sweeney, who follows the whereabouts of the billionaire’s jet.
“At the invitation of the Minister of Communications, Fábio Faria, entrepreneur @elonmusk arrives in Brazil on Friday to discuss Connectivity and Protection of the Amazon with the Brazilian government,” Faria wrote on his Twitter account.
The president confirmed he’s traveling to Sao Paulo. “We’ll have a meeting with a world-renowned person, who’s coming to help our Amazon,” he said during a live broadcast on social media on Thursday night, without revealing a name.
Musk has become even more popular among Bolsonaro’s supporters after announcing plans to buy Twitter Inc. and use the platform to defend “free speech.” Bolsonaro himself has had several social media posts taken down by Twitter and Facebook after the companies determined the president was spreading falsehoods about topics including the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety of Brazil’s electronic voting system.
Bolsonaro, who’s being investigated in Brazil for allegedly spreading fake news, has been stepping up his rhetoric against the country’s top court and its electoral authorities, raising concerns that he could dispute the result of the October election if he were to lose.