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Elon Musk calls Thai cave rescuer a pedophile on Twitter

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investors have suggested

Elon Musk

focus on building cars. But over the weekend he once again has delved into a major distraction, accusing one of the hero divers who helped free a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave of being a pedophile.

Musk made his unsubstantiated claim, the latest in a string of

increasingly erratic statements

, on Twitter on Sunday. He was directing his ire toward British-born cave expert Vernon Unsworth, who has spent years exploring the cave in Thailand where a soccer team of 12 boys and their coach were trapped after the cave flooded. What triggered the accusation? In an interview with CNN, Unsworth had criticized Musk’s bid to rescue the boys with a small submarine Musk had his team assemble from SpaceX parts.

Musk even doubled down on his “pedo” claim when challenged on Twitter, saying “bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” He deleted the tweets shortly afterward, but they live on via the long tail of the Internet.

Unsworth had criticized Musk’s submarine as a “PR stunt” and said, “He can stick his submarine where it hurts. It just had absolutely no chance of working.”

Unsworth said rescue officials quickly asked Musk to leave the cave site during the rescue mission, a claim Musk also refuted, claiming that, “Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave.”

Tesla’s stock price was down more than 2 percent Monday in premarket trading on the news that Unsworth reportedly is mulling legal action against Musk, suggesting that investors may be growing restless with his shenanigans.

Last week, Musk also took to Twitter to pledge to help Flint, Mich., residents affected by the city’s water crisis, replying to a user that he would commit to “fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.” Except of course the


sets drinking-water contamination levels, not the Food and Drug Administration. But whatever. Musk has also been busy trying to undermine reports that he was

one of the top 50 donors

to a political action committee that aims to retain Republican control of the U.S. House after federal filings showed he donated $38,900.

For all of his self-created Twitter fires, it’s easy to forget that Musk runs a company called Tesla that makes

electric vehicles

and is struggling to increase production of the

Model 3

, its attempt at a mass-market electric sedan that is seen as critical to the company’s ability to turn a profit.

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