Don Lemon, Elon Musk Interview Clips Shared After X Deal Scrapped

Estimated read time 4 min read

Don Lemon said Elon Musk abruptly canceled his partnership with X because the billionaire was “mad” at him over their recent interview, which he subsequently described in a video posted to Instagram as “tense.”

While the full interview does not air until Monday, March 18, in the few clips that have been shared from the conversation, there were fewer fireworks than expected.

The former CNN host said Wednesday that Musk scrapped the partnership hours after he conducted the interview, which is set to air in full on March 18 as the first episode of “The Don Lemon Show.”

“There were no restrictions on the interview that he willingly agreed to, and my questions were respectful and wide-ranging, covering everything from SpaceX to the presidential election. We had a good conversation,” Lemon said in a statement. “Clearly, he felt differently.”

X and Musk have said Lemon is still free to post his show on X without the support of a formal partnership.

The outlet Semafor, citing unnamed sources, said that Lemon did not yet have a signed contract with X, which could mean he may have a hard time getting paid out for the scrapped deal.

Lemon shared a few clips of the interview on CNN’s Erin Burnett “OutFront” on Wednesday evening.

The first clip showed Lemon asking Musk if he believes X has a responsibility to moderate content on the platform, specifically mentioning the “great replacement” conspiracy theory often peddled by white supremacists. He asked if moderation would help Musk avoid having to answer questions from reporters.

“I don’t have to answer questions from reporters,” Musk said, adding, “Don, the only reason I’m doing this interview is because you’re on X platform and you asked for it. Otherwise, I would not do this interview.”

In another moment, Lemon began to ask Musk about his apparent ketamine use.

“The reason I mentioned the ketamine prescription on the X platform was because I thought maybe this is something that could help other people,” Musk said.

In a post on X in August, Musk said he had a ketamine prescription for when his “brain chemistry sometimes goes super negative.” Ketamine, a common anesthetic, is increasingly being used to treat depression, though there are risks associated with it.

A third clip from the interview that was shared on CNN showed Lemon asking Musk about the reports that he met with former President Donald Trump in Florida last week.

“I was at a breakfast at a friend’s place and Donald Trump came by, that’s it,” Musk said.

When Lemon asked what the pair discussed, Musk said: “Let’s just say he did most of the talking.”

Musk also answered Lemon’s questions, saying Trump did not ask him for money and that he does not currently plan to endorse Trump or donate to his campaign.

Though the topics discussed in the clips were somewhat controversial, the exchanges did not appear especially tense. They also were not topics Musk hadn’t faced scrutiny over before.

Of course, the entire interview hasn’t aired so it’s possible there were more heated moments than what we’ve seen so far.

When an X user asked for a reason the deal was canceled, Musk replied: “His approach was basically just ‘CNN, but on social media,’ which doesn’t work, as evidenced by the fact that CNN is dying. “

He also said Lemon “lacked authenticity.”

He did not explain the timing of the decision or what changed in what Lemon said were “hours” between the interview being conducted and Musk telling him the partnership was over.

X did not immediately provide comment when reached by Business Insider but said to “check back later.”

A representative for Lemon could not immediately be reached.