Elon Musk Deletes Tweet Comparing Justin Trudeau to Hitler

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO and founder of Tesla, shared a meme on Wednesday that likened Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. The since-deleted tweet featured a photo of Hitler with the lines “Stop comparing me to Justin Trudeau … I had a budget.”

The controversy comes in the midst of a crisis involving convoys of Canadian truck drivers who are blockading major roads (and therefore trade routes) in protest of the country’s strict vaccination and mask-wearing mandates. A coordinated effort of “Freedom Convoys” began organizing late last month in the nation’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario.

Earlier this week, Trudeau declared a national emergency in an attempt to end the protests, the first time that the 1988 Emergency Act has been invoked. The act permits the government to implement measures such as travel restrictions and bans on public assembly to restore public order.

Musk, who has drawn criticism for spreading misinformation about the pandemic and the safety of COVID vaccines, did not apologize. However, he did post a series of cryptic tweets Thursday.

“Reasons to hate are remembered better than reasons to love,” read one of posts, followed by the message, “An evolutionary asymmetry helpful to survival, but counterproductive when survival is not at stake.”

Musk’s original tweet received swift backlash on social media. “Using the image of Adolf Hitler & therefore exploiting the tragedy of all people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany created by him is sad & disturbing,” wrote the Auschwitz Museum’s official Twitter account. “It disrespects the memory of all victims & hurts many people.”

The American Jewish Committee stated, “@ElonMusk has exercised extremely poor judgment by invoking Hitler to make a point on social media. Comparing @CanadianPM Justin Trudeau to a genocidal dictator who murdered millions is not an appropriate way to criticize policies. He must apologize immediately.”

Antiracism educator and author Tim Wise noted that the State of California is currently suing Tesla over allegations of racism against Black employees at its Fremont factory.

“So, Elon Musk is now comparing Justin Trudeau to Hitler? Two pieces of advice, wonderboy,” Wise tweeted. “1. Fix your stupid ‘self-driving’ cars so they don’t wreck; and, 2. As a white S. African, currently being sued for racism, maybe don’t ever compare anyone to Hitler or other racists, k?”