During an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen at the World Economic Forum, United States President Donald Trump couldn't say enough nice things about billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk — though the praise was less than eloquent.
"You have to give him credit. I spoke to him very recently, and he’s also doing the rockets," Trump told Kernen. "He likes rockets. And he does good at rockets, too, by the way. I never saw where the engines come down with no wings, no anything, and they’re landing. I said, 'I’ve never seen that before.'"
Trump also, bafflingly, pledged to defend Musk against unnamed enemies.
"I was worried about him because he's one of our great geniuses," Trump said. "You know, we have to protect Thomas Edison, and we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb and the wheel and all of these things. And he’s one of our very smart people, and we want to cherish those people."
Near the end of the Musk-centric portion of the CNBC interview, Trump made it clear he expects his love and support for Tesla's CEO to go both ways.
"He's going to be building a very big plant in the United States," Trump told Kernen. "He has to because we help him so he has to help us."
If Tesla is building a new U.S. factory, it has yet to announce it. It's hard to imagine Musk would trust Trump to keep the information a secret, either, so we're going to assume that Trump wasn't so much sharing a fact about Tesla's future here as he was not-so-subtly announcing his expectation that the company repay America for its cryptic "help."
But feel free to interpret it however you like.
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