Billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk called Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key figure in the first impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, a "puppet & puppeteer" after Vindman tweeted the exact same criticism of Musk that more than a dozen other accounts also posted.
"Vindman is both puppet & puppeteer. Question is who pulls his strings … ?" Musk tweeted Sunday in response to a screenshot from podcaster Noam Blum.
"Kinda weird that @elonmusk gets to decide how like a half-billion people communicate. Way too much power for one erratic individual to wield, don't you think?" Vindman tweeted early Sunday morning.
More than a dozen other accounts tweeted the same exact phrase, according to the screenshot by Blum. Some of those accounts are no longer able to be found on the platform while other accounts have removed the tweet.
"They're bots in human form," Musk said about the screenshot. "Note, spamming, whether done by a set of humans or bots is against [terms of service]."
VoteVets, a progressive nonprofit group for which Vindman is and adviser, tweeted that the retired military official "is pulled by a sense of service and what’s right—no matter if it’s [Trump] attacking him or [Musk]."
Vindman also retweeted several posts made in his defense, such as one from Ohio Democrat State Rep. Casey Weinstein.
"Alex speaks truth to power. Elon, who is one of the most powerful people on earth, cowers to anti-semites and anonymous hate-trolls on Twitter," Weinstein tweeted.