CNN's Jake Tapper: Musk Should Face 'Repercussions' for 'Sabotaging' Ukrainian Attack on Crimea

Chris Menahan
Sep. 11, 2023

CNN warmonger Jake Tapper on Sunday pressed Secretary of State Antony Blinken on whether or not the "capricious billionaire" Elon Musk will face "repercussions" for "sabotaging" a Ukrainian attack on Crimea.

Transcript via CNN:
TAPPER: So, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has recently confirmed a report that's in Walter Isaacson's new biography of Musk that, last year, Musk blocked access to his Starlink satellite network in Crimea in order to disrupt a major Ukrainian attack on the Russian navy there. In other words, Musk effectively sabotaged a military operation by Ukraine, a U.S. ally, against Russia, an aggressor country that invaded a U.S. ally. Should there be repercussions for that?

BLINKEN: Jake, I can't speak to a specific episode. Here's what I can tell you. Starlink has been a vital tool for the Ukrainians to be able to communicate with each other, and particularly for the military to communicate in their effort to defend all of Ukraine's territory. It remains so, and I would expect it to continue to be critical to their efforts. So, what we would hope and expect is that that technology will remain fully available to the Ukrainians. It is vital to what they're doing.

TAPPER: I don't know that you can't speak to it. You won't speak to it. Musk says he was reportedly afraid that Russia would retaliate with nuclear weapons. Musk says that's based on his private discussions he had with senior Russian officials. Are you concerned that Musk is apparently conducting his own diplomatic outreach to the Russian government? Really, none of this concerns you?

BLINKEN: Jake, I can't speak to conversations that may or may not have happened. I don't know. I'm focused on the fact that the technology itself, Starlink, has been really important to the Ukrainians. It remains so. And it should continue to be part of what they're able to call on to be able to communicate with themselves and, again, to have the military be able to communicate. Throughout this Russian aggression, we have — we ourselves have always had to factor in what Russia may do in response to any given thing that we or others do or the Ukrainians do. And we have. But what's so critical now is that Ukrainians had real success over the past year. I was just in Ukraine, as you know. The last time I was there was almost exactly a year ago. In that year, from the last time I was there until this week, the Ukrainians have retaken more than 50 percent of the territory seized by Russia since February of 2022. They're now engaged in a critical counteroffensive. And we're doing everything we can to maximize our support for them, along with many other countries, so that they can be successful. Starlink is an important part of their success. And, as I said, we expect that it will continue to be so.

TAPPER: It sounds like Starlink is so important that the U.S. government doesn't want to risk offending a capricious billionaire who did some things that I think, in another situation, the U.S. government might want to say something about.
Musk revealed last week that CNN's report was wrong -- he did not turn off Starlink coverage to block the attack but instead refused to turn on additional Starlink coverage to facilitate the attack -- but that didn't stop Tapper from repeating the lie in order to essentially accuse him of treason.

"I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America," Musk said Sunday night on Twitter/X. "The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such."

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