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Tesla Falls as Elon Musk Hints at More Stock Sales in Bernie Sanders Taunt

Tesla stock trades lower after Elon Musk spars with Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders on Twitter. 'Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word.'

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report stock traded lower on Monday after co-founder and CEO Elon Musk suggested he may sell off even more of his Tesla shares in a Twitter spar with Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.

Musk, the world’s wealthiest person, on Sunday sparred with Sanders, who tweeted a day earlier that “…we must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share.”

“I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk tweeted in a reply to the 80-year-old senator from Vermont. In a subsequent tweet, Musk asked: “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word.”

The Twitter spat followed Musk’s sales of nearly $7 billion of Tesla stock last week. Musk, the world's richest person and Tesla's top shareholder, tweeted on Nov. 7 that he would sell 10% of his stock if his 63.7 million followers approved the move.

Related: Elon Musk's Most Memorable Tweets in 2021 (So Far)

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Musk did not mention in his prior tweets that he had millions of stock options that must be exercised before they expire in August 2022. He said in September that he was likely to exercise “a huge block” of those options towards the end of 2021. 

Musk sold 6.36 million shares last week. He now needs to offload about 10 million additional shares to fulfil his pledge to sell 10% of his holdings. Prior to the share sales, Musk owned about 23% stake in Tesla, including stock options. 

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Tesla’s share price was down 4.56% at $986.28 at last check. The stock is still up more than 35% year to date.