Tesla sinks 5% after Elon Musk threatens to sell more stock in Twitter spat with Bernie Sanders

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Germany on Friday.

  • Tesla fell as much as 4% on Monday after Elon Musk threatened to sell more shares in response to a tweet from Senator Bernie Sanders.
  • “Want me to sell more stock Bernie? Just say the word,” Musk tweeted to Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Musk has sold billions of Tesla stock since he launched a Twitter poll earlier this month asking his followers if he should sell.

Tesla stock fell as much as 5% on Monday after CEO Elon Musk threatened to sell more shares in a tweet response to Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Want me to sell more stock Bernie? Just say the word,” Musk tweeted to Sanders in response to a tweet from the senator that advocated the “extremely wealth pay their fair share.”

Musk has already sold billions worth of Tesla stock since he asked his followers in a Twitter poll if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stake. More than 3 million Twitter users participating in the poll, with a decisive majority voting for Musk to sell some of his Tesla stock.

Since the poll, Musk has sold about $7 billion of the stock. Musk is facing a multi-billion-dollar tax bill next year when about 23 million of his fully vested, deep in-the-money stock options expire in August.

While many speculate Musk needs to sell Tesla stock to raise funds for his upcoming tax bill, famed short-seller Michael Burry believes the richest man in the world is selling just because.

“He [Musk] doesn’t need cash. He just wants to sell $TSLA,” Burry tweeted, implying that Musk wants to realize profits in what’s been a remarkable run-up in Tesla shares. Burry has previously said Tesla is emblematic of a massive asset bubble in risk-assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Since Musk launched the Twitter poll, shares of Tesla have fallen by as much as 20%. Still, the stock is up 39% year-to-date at current levels.