The new owner of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk, called Jewish American retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman both a “puppet & puppeteer” in a tweet.
“Vindman is both puppet & puppeteer. Question is who pulls his strings … ?” Musk tweeted.
Musk’s tweet came in response to Vindman sharing a copy-and-paste block of text suggesting that Musk is “erratic” and too powerful now that he owns Twitter.
The block tweet said “Kinda weird that @elonmusk gets to decide how like a half-billion people communicate. Way too much power for one erratic individual to wield, don’t you think?”
Musk’s tweet about Vindman evoked an antisemitic trope that Jews are puppeteers who secretly wield power over various institutions or that they are puppets of the Israeli government.
After Musk’s tweet, Vindman called the richest man in the world a “purveyor of hate and division”.
VIndman wrote that he would put his reputation up against Musk’s any day.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life in service to my country. Upheld my oath to protect & defend this nation at great personal cost. You’ve demonstrated yourself to be a purveyor of hate and division. Let history be the judge,” Vindman wrote.
Vindman continued, saying that Tesla’s stock is plummeting, Twitter was on the verge of insolvency, and SpaceX succeeded in spite of Musk.
Vindman was the Director of European Affairs for the U.S. National Security Council. He rose to public prominence after testifying before Congress regarding the Trump-Ukraine scandal, involving a quid pro quo that then-president Donald Trump allegedly offered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Vindman’s rebuke of Musk is the latest controversy about Musk’s management of Twitter since he acquired the platform late last month.
Racist and antisemitic messages reportedly surged on the social media app after Musk’s takeover, and his move to slash staff in mass layoffs stoked concerns that content moderation would be compromised.