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Elon Musk is planning to meet Trump, says source

Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress January 13, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.
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Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, speaks at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress January 13, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan.

Elon Musk does plan to attend a meeting with technology industry leaders and President-elect Donald Trump, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Recode reported earlier Monday that the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX may be too busy with work to attend the meeting, which is planned to include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google founder Larry Page, and several other executives from major technology companies.

An email seeking comment from Trump's representatives was not returned.

The issues on the table for a meeting between Musk and Trump might include transportation issues, such as both electric cars and the regulation of autonomous driving, as well as renewable energy and space.

To some eyes, the two men could not appear to agree on less. On one hand, Musk has said that the primary purpose of Tesla is "accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy." He has expressed concern over atmospheric carbon levels, and he has publicly argued in favor of a carbon tax. Originally an electric car company alone, Tesla now owns a solar power business.

Trump, on the other hand, is a climate change doubter who has appointed fossil-fuel industry advocates to key positions in his cabinet, including to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Musk's companies also make use of state and federal tax-credits, including some that promote the sale of electric vehicles or solar power. Some have speculated these could be in jeopardy under a Trump administration, though Musk has said the impact of government money on his businesses is overstated by critics.

But Musk knows Silicon Valley's most famous Trump supporter, Peter Thiel, from their time building PayPal together, and that could help build rapport between Musk and the president-elect.

Musk is also somewhat unusual among major technology company founders in that he runs businesses with significant and growing manufacturing operations in the United States. Returning factory jobs to U.S. soil was an issue Trump frequently spoke about during his campaign.

In an interview with CNBC in early November, prior to the election, Musk said he did not think election would have a serious impact on his business either way, but said he felt Trump did not "seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States."