Elon Musk was partying with Kevin McCarthy this week

For a guy who keeps insisting he is a moderate, he keeps doing pretty MAGA-y things.

Tesla and SpaceX Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk stands as his brother Kimbal Musk, right, and Hou...
Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for understanding how Elon Musk uses Twitter: If he makes an assertion about himself, it likely means that he’s about to do something that completely contradicts it and is trying to create plausible deniability. Case in point: On Aug. 16, Musk tweeted, seemingly unprompted: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!”

Well, guess where Musk happened to pop up that evening? Why, none other than Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s fundraiser event in Wyoming.

If you allow Musk the benefit of the doubt — like, to the point that you would seem incredibly naive— you could maybe squint at this and think, “Well, maybe he doesn’t view McCarthy, a Trump loyalist who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results, as all that extreme. Or maybe he’s trying to push McCarthy to the center.”

If that was Musk’s plan though, it was odd timing. McCarthy’s fundraiser was being held on the same day that Liz Cheney, who is basically the definition of the “left half of the Republican Party” at this point, was facing a primary against Trump-backed political newcomer Harriet Hageman. McCarthy had been fundraising for Hageman, who eventually defeated Cheney handily. The event served as a de facto celebration of Cheney’s defeat for the MAGA wing of the Republican Party. (McCarthy declined to confirm whether Musk would be in attendance at his event.)

Hageman isn’t exactly the type of moderate that Musk purports to support. She’s an election truther who has called the 2020 election “rigged.” She’s not even aligned with Musk’s actual interests, either: Hageman is a fossil fuel-backer who has called coal an “affordable, clean, acceptable resource” as recently as this month.

Maybe that’s the reason Musk reportedly tried to keep his appearance under wraps. He didn’t announce that he was attending, and he hasn’t really engaged with any tweets or news stories about his appearance. He did reportedly do a fireside chat at the fundraiser, so it’s not like he was just a wallflower at the event either.

Musk might have been able to keep the whole thing quiet, like he apparently would have preferred, if not for the fact that pictures with Elon Musk are currently a form of currency in Republican politics. Texas Rep. Tony Gonzales shared a photo of himself shaking Musk’s hand at the event, while Fox News contributor and former spokesperson for the Trump State Department Morgan Ortagus posted a selfie with the billionaire.

If you didn’t know any better, you might assume that Musk doesn’t actually support moderates and just says he does to cover his ass as he buddies up to far-right candidates who are actively seeking to undermine democracy. But you do know better ... right?