'I'm Typically Putting in 16-Hour Days': Elon Musk Tells Don Lemon About Working Long Hours to Eliminate 'Civilizational Risks'


The long-anticipated interview between X owner Elon Musk and former CNN journalist Don Lemon was released Monday on Lemon’s personal social media platforms and YouTube channel. Lemon’s new show on X, where the interview was supposed to air, was scrapped by Musk and his team after the fiery interview.

Musk and Lemon broached a wide variety of contentious topics throughout the 90-minute sit-down, with Musk growing more agitated as the interview went on.

Related: ‘Elon Is Mad at Me’: Don Lemon Says Elon Musk Canceled His New Talk Show After Controversial Interview

“You are upsetting me,” Musk said towards the end.

Here are four key moments from the tension-filled interview.

Musk admits to using Ketamine to bolster productivity — and doesn’t believe Tesla shareholders should be concerned

When pressed about his prescribed use of Ketamine, a horse tranquilizer, Musk told Lemon that he believes the drug is “helpful for getting one out of the negative frame of mind.”

“If you use too much ketamine, you can’t really get work done. I have a lot of work, I’m typically putting in 16-hour days,” Musk explained. “So, I don’t really have a situation where I can be not mentally acute for an extended period of time.”

When Lemon asked Musk if he was worried that this would be a concern for Tesla shareholders, Musk was unfazed.

Related: Elon Musk Sued By Former Twitter Executives for $128 Million

“From a standpoint of Wall Street, what matters is execution. Are you building value for investors? Tesla is worth about as much as the rest of the car industry combined,” he said. “So from an investor standpoint, if there is something I’m taking, I should keep taking it.”

When asked about the nature of the prescription, Musk said that was “private.”

Musk believes his work is for the greater good of humanity

Musk told Lemon that he believes the work he’s doing is for the greater good of human civilization and the future of mankind.

“If I died knowing that I did what was right, or did my best to do what was right, and even if in the history books they said I did wrong, I would still feel okay about that. I care about the reality of goodness, not the perception of it,” he said. “We want to make sure that we don’t have, for example, demographic collapse, which is the case in a lot of countries — just very low birth rate. We want to avoid, obviously avoid, World War 3. Anything that is a civilizational risk. That is what I care about. Civilizational risks.”

Musk says X is for jokes

“I use it to post jokes, sometimes trivia, sometimes things that are of great importance,” he said.

X (and Twitter before it) sparks meaningful conversations at its best and incites intense arguments at its worst. Musk told Lemon that he thinks X can be used as a “player vs. player platform” — a video game term where players are pitted against one another instead of playing against the computer.

Though Musk explained that he enjoys playing video games in PVP as a way to unwind, he noted that it’s not necessarily the reason he logs on to the platform.

Musk said he has not donated to anyone politically during this election cycle — and doesn’t plan to

Despite brow-raising breakfast meetings with former U.S. President Donald Trump in Palm Beach and vocal opinions about many issues, Musk said he won’t be making political donations.

“I’ll voice my opinion. I think I don’t want to put a thumb on the scale, monetarily, that is significant,” Musk told Lemon.

He also noted that he has not made a final choice about who will be getting his vote this November.



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