Elon Musk 'thinks he's above the law': Cramer on the Tesla CEO's combative '60 Minutes' interview

  • CNBC's Jim Cramer says he's baffled over why Tesla CEO Elon Musk would continue to antagonize government regulators.
  • In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Musk said, "I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC."
  • "This man plays by no rules. He's his own worst enemy," Cramer says. "He clearly thinks he's above the law."

CNBC's Jim Cramer says he's baffled over why Tesla CEO Elon Musk would continue to antagonize government regulators.

In a wide-ranging interview on the CBS program "60 Minutes"that aired Sunday, Musk said, "I want to be clear: I do not respect the SEC." But he added he would comply with the agreement he made with the agency for allegedly misleading investors in an August tweet about possibly taking the electric automaker private.

"This man plays by no rules. He's his own worst enemy. I don't understand why anyone would do this," Cramer said Monday on "Squawk on the Street." "He clearly thinks he's above the law or he would not diss the agency that he has a plea deal [with]."

The September deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission required Tesla to monitor Musk's tweets and it forced him to step down as chairman of the board for three years. Robyn Denholm, who was already on the board, was named to succeed Musk as chair.

Musk told "60 Minutes" that nobody is monitoring his tweets. He also said he handpicked Denholm, and that she's not supervising him. "That's not realistic. I am the largest shareholder in the company."

"Didn't he make a mockery of her?" Cramer said Monday, referring to Denholm. "She's a serious person. He basically said she can't do anything. She's not in charge. I'm a big shareholder," the "Mad Money" host added.

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Musk made no apologies for his erratic behavior over the summer. He said he's "somewhat impulsive" and that he doesn't want to "try to adhere to some CEO template."

Tesla garnered lots of negative attention after Musk's Aug. 7 tweet stunned the financial community and Washington regulators. He abandoned the take-private idea on Aug. 24.

Following a bizarre Aug. 16 interview with The New York Times, Musk's actions were under scrutiny again in September after he appeared to smoke marijuana and drink whiskey during comedian Joe Rogan's podcast.

On Sept. 7, a day after the Rogan interview, Cramer said Musk's marijuana "stunt" was ill-advised and cast serious doubts on his ability to run Tesla.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cramer's remarks.

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