Elon Musk tweeted an image comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to German dictator Adolf Hitler early Thursday. And while Musk’s legion of fans will no doubt claim it’s “just a joke,” it’s still jarring to see the richest person on the planet compare world leaders in functioning democracies to Hitler—especially when that incredibly wealthy person is a 50-year-old man.
The SpaceX founder tweeted the image of Hitler in the early hours of Thursday morning ET, captioned with the words, “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau. I had a budget.” The joke seems to be that Trudeau failed to deliver a new federal budget to parliament for the past couple of years.
Musk’s message was sent in reply to a tweet from crypto news outlet Coindesk which reads, “Canadian authorities have ordered financial institutions not to interact with 34 different crypto addresses tied to the country’s ongoing trucker protests.”
Federal authorities in Canada have recently cracked down on funding sources of the so-called “trucker convoy” that’s been clogging trade between the U.S. and Canada. The protesters are angry about a requirement that truckers carrying goods be vaccinated against covid-19 to cross the border. The truckers have received donations, many from the U.S., UK, and Australia, while the Canadian government has worked feverishly to stop that flow of money.
Prime Minister Trudeau has invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act to cut off funding for the truckers, a controversial move that’s caused those on the right to call Trudeau a dictator of some kind. One pundit on Fox News even called for a full-scale invasion of Canada to “liberate” the country.
As the Washington Post explains:
Canada’s Emergencies Act replaced the War Measures Act, legislation that was controversially invoked by Trudeau’s father, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, during a crisis with Quebec separatists in 1970.
[Deputy PM Chrystia] Freeland said financial institutions such as banks will have the authority to freeze or suspend the accounts of people believed to be involved with the blockades without a court order and to temporarily cease providing financial services to them.
The country’s money-laundering and terrorism financing rules will also be widened to cover crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe and GiveSendGo and payment service providers that have been used to funnel funds, including cryptocurrencies, to the protesters. The owners of trucks being used in the blockades could also have their insurance suspended and their corporate accounts frozen.
Musk is originally from South Africa and moved to Canada in 1988 at the age of 19 to avoid military service. The future Tesla boss attended Queen’s University in Ontario but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania just a couple of years later. Musk received both Canadian and U.S. citizenship.
This isn’t the first time Musk has made an outrageous tweet, obviously. The billionaire once referred to a hero cave diver as “pedo guy” after the man questioned his plan to help save some trapped children. Musk won a defamation suit lodged against him in that case.
Musk also got into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission after tweeting about the stock price of Tesla in 2018, saying he had “funding secured” for the company to be taken private at $420 per share. The tweet was a joke about cannabis, but the SEC didn’t find it funny, especially when the company’s stock fluctuated wildly in wake of the “announcement.” Musk, of course, got off with a fine, because wealthy people don’t actually face consequences for anything.