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Elon Musk in Guadalajara
Elon Musk. (SpaceX Photo)

Billionaire techie Elon Musk today explained why he’s staying on President Donald Trump’s business advisory council, even after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down due to widespread criticism of the president’s immigration ban.

Before and after Friday’s council meeting with Trump and his aides at the White House, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX provided a commentary on his political activities via Twitter – including the comment that he really doesn’t “want to get into politics.”

The 45-year-old Musk, who is himself an immigrant born in South Africa, disagrees with Trump on issues ranging from immigration to climate change. But he hasn’t taken a hard stance against the president. Instead, Musk argues that it’s better to keep the lines of communication open.

“I understand the perspective of those who object my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good,” Musk said on the eve of the gathering in a Thursday night tweet.

He made clear that he doesn’t agree with Trump’s immigration ban, which has been temporarily put on hold nationwide, thanks to a federal judge’s ruling in Seattle.

“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration,” Musk wrote. “My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all.”

Musk said he and other attendees planned to raise objections to the immigration policy during Friday’s meeting and “offer suggestions for changes.”

After the meeting, attendees said immigration did indeed come up.

“There was obviously concern by different people and explanations, and that issue had to be covered and was covered,” Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who leads the advisory group, said on Fox Business.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch told CNBC “there were several debates” about immigration and women’s issues, and “an enormous discussion” about reducing regulations and creating jobs. Welch said the executives were told that “clarity was coming” on the application of Trump’s immigration order.

Musk filed his own report on the immigration issue via Twitter, starting late Friday and continuing today:

We’ll have to wait for details on how the immigration policy (and climate policy) might change. Meanwhile, the judicial action continues.

This is an updated version of a report originally published on Feb. 3.

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