Musk meets with McCarthy, and speaks briefly with Jeffries on a quick visit to the Capitol

Twitter CEO Elon Musk met with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the Capitol on Thursday, a meeting focused on the explosive topic of ensuring Twitter is fair in its approach to both the Democratic and Republican parties, according to Musk’s account of the conversation.

Musk also met briefly with the top House Democrat, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY), who was meeting with McCarthy around the time Musk arrived, according to a source familiar with the encounter.

“Just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy and @RepJeffries to discuss ensuring this platform is fair for both parties,” he wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

McCarthy, who turned 58 on Thursday, declined to discuss the conversation, quipping that Musk was visiting the Capitol just to celebrate his special day.

“He came to wish me a happy birthday,” the Speaker told reporters as he left his office. “We’ve been friends for years.”

Thursday wasn’t the first time Musk met with McCarthy. In August, he spoke at a Republican retreat hosted by McCarthy in Wyoming, which was also attended by GOP candidates and supporters.

Jeffries hadn’t previously planned to meet with Musk, the source said, but McCarthy offered to introduce them, and they spoke briefly as Jeffries left the speaker’s desk.

Asked about the discussion later in the evening, Jeffries declined to comment.

Musk’s visit to the Capitol comes at a volatile moment for Twitter, which is trying to find a foothold under a new CEO, who came in less than three months ago with a pledge to repeal content moderation policies that conservatives have claimed are biased against them.

In one of his most notable actions as CEO to date, Musk reinstated former President Trump’s Twitter account, ending a ban that went into effect after the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. The former president, however, did not returned to the platform Used extensively during his tenure in the White House, he chose to continue using his Truth Social platform to convey messages.

Just this week, Meta announced that Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be returned too.

Hours before the visit, Jefferies was asked about Meta and Twitter’s decisions to reinstate Trump’s social media accounts. The Democratic leader declined to comment specifically, but he has warned in the past that the former president posed a danger to the country’s democratic traditions, and he amplified that message on Thursday.

“The threats to democracy related to Donald Trump speak for themselves,” Jeffries said.

Musk’s visit to Capitol Hill also comes amid speculation that the House Oversight and Reform Committee is seeking testimony from former Twitter employees at a hearing next month to discuss how the platform handled reports on Hunter Biden.

Republicans have accused former Twitter leaders of suppressing, in the months leading up to the 2020 election, an explosive story involving a mysterious laptop computer owned by Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Now in the House of Representatives, Republicans are focusing a number of investigations on the contents of the younger Biden’s laptop, as well as his business dealings abroad.

AxiosI reported earlier this month that Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, wrote letters to former Twitter employees who had a role in determining how the New York Post report was shown on the platform.

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