After Elon Musk officially acquired Twitter on October 27, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy called for an investigation into some of the funding behind Musk’s purchase of the social media network on Monday.
Murphy expressed his concerns about the private Saudi Arabian and Qatari investors backing Musk’s $44 billion Twitter transaction in a letter dated October 31 to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to investigate the foreign investments that were involved in the Twitter transaction.
“I write to draw your attention to potential national security concerns arising from the recently completed takeover of Twitter, Inc. by Elon Musk and a number of private investors. As has been publicly reported, at least $1.89 billion of the financing necessary for Musk’s bid to take Twitter private was secured from members of the Saudi Arabian royal family,” according to Murphy’s letter.
“Another $375 million came from the Kingdom of Qatar. Collectively, these stakes account for approximately 5% of the new ownership of Twitter. Given Twitter’s critical role in public communication, I am concerned by the potential influence of the Government of Saudi Arabia.” the letter added.
By tweeting about his plea to Yellen, Murphy spread the word even farther.
Monday morning, Murphy tweeted, “Today I am requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment — which reviews acquisitions of U.S. businesses by foreign buyers — to conduct an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia’s purchase of Twitter.”
Today I am requesting the Committee on Foreign Investment — which reviews acquisitions of U.S. businesses by foreign buyers — to conduct an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia's purchase of Twitter.https://t.co/IDwnKGaxt7
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 31, 2022
According to Securities and Exchange Commission documents, there were Middle Eastern private investors involved in the Twitter purchase.
According to an SEC filing made on October 27th, one Saudi royal family member currently holds a sizable position in Twitter.
As indicated by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz in a tweet along with a press release explaining his new investment in the social media behemoth, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz was among the private investments behind Musk’s deal and contributed $1.89 billion.
Dear friend "Chief Twit" @elonmusk
— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) October 28, 2022
As a result, Prince Alwaleed and Kingdom Holding now own nearly 5% of Twitter’s publicly traded shares, making them the company’s second-largest shareholders, per the SEC filing. According to Forbes, Alwaleed controls 95% of the investment company Kingdom Holding, and together with Kingdom Holding, they currently possess 4% of Twitter.
In his letter to Yellen, Murphy urged her to investigate the transaction for the interest of national security in light of these investments.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“CFIUS must also review noncontrolling investments in certain sensitive US businesses, including companies that develop critical technologies and businesses that possess sensitive personal data on US citizens. The purpose of these reviews is clear: to protect the national security interests of the United States and American citizens,” Murphy’s letter noted.
“I call on CFIUS to immediately conduct a review of the recent changes in Twitter’s ownership and governance. It is essential to our national security that public officials and citizens alike can continue to rely on this platform to be a neutral platform, free of foreign influence,” the letter concluded.
With Murphy’s insistence on looking into the Middle Eastern investors behind Musk’s Twitter deal, many on Twitter have been complaining that Musk decided to get some of his cash for the deal from such investors. CONTINUE READING…