Tesla CEO Elon Musk took aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders over the weekend after the lawmaker demanded the wealthy pay their “fair share.”
Sanders, an advocate for redistributing wealth, tweeted Saturday afternoon that “we must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.”
Early Sunday, Musk fired back at the Vermont independent.
“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” he wrote in a tweet.
Musk followed that up with another message for Sanders.
“Want me to sell more stock, Bernie?” he asked. “Just say the word …”
Musk falls under Sanders’ description of “the extremely wealthy” as the world’s richest person with a net worth of $285 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.
Musk’s trust sold about $1.2 billion in Tesla stock on Friday, according to financial filings posted Friday evening and sold about $6.9 billion worth of stock in the company over the course of the week, CNBC reported. Musk still holds more than 166 million shares in the company.
The sales came after Musk polled his more than 60 million Twitter followers on Nov. 6 asking if he should sell 10 percent of his shares. About 58 percent responded “yes.” He told followers the vote would determine the future of his Tesla holdings, but financial documents filed last week show that some were slated for sale no matter the outcome of the poll, according to CNBC.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are seeking to raise taxes for the country’s most wealthy.
U.S. Senate Democrats last month unveiled a proposal to tax the stocks and other tradeable assets of billionaires to help pay for President Joe Biden’s sweeping domestic policy package.
Sanders, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has been one of the loudest voices demanding higher taxes on the rich. In March, both proposed a 3 percent total annual tax on wealth exceeding $1 billion, and a 2 percent annual wealth tax on the net worth of households and trusts ranging from $50 million to $1 billion.
Marlene Lenthang is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.