Tesla head Elon Musk talks to the press as he arrives to have a look at the construction site of the new Tesla Gigafactory near Berlin on September 03, 2020 near Gruenheide, Germany.

Maja Hitij | Getty Images

Elon Musk has told his tens of millions of social media followers that he “would prefer to stay out of politics.”

Yet, with a mix of trash talk and big spending, the multibillionaire mogul behind Tesla and SpaceX has become a political force.

Musk himself has personally taken shots at politicians and government regulators, including digs at President Joe Biden and a recent sexually tinged insult aimed at a U.S. senator. Behind the scenes, Musk and his biggest companies, SpaceX and Tesla, have for years worked to influence the U.S. political landscape, including through lobbying and political donations. Combined, SpaceX and Tesla have spent over $2 million on lobbying this year.

Musk has also recently vocally opposed Biden’s support…

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