COMMENT:

It's official: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has gone full Donald Trump.

It may be a tired comparison, but attacking people on Twitter with baseless accusations like Musk did this morning by calling one of the Thai rescue divers "pedo guy" has sealed the deal.

The US President is fond of calling himself "a stable genius" to fend off criticisms of about his erratic behaviour, despite the fact most sober-minded observers would probably hesitate to ascribe either attribute to the world's most powerful man.

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Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has gone full Donald Trump. Photo / AP
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has gone full Donald Trump. Photo / AP

But Musk — who publicly quit Trump's business advisory council team last year — has arguably earned the genius label. The stable part, however, is becoming more uncertain by the day.

His extraordinary "pedo" comment is the latest episode of questionable behaviour that has fuelled a wave of critical media coverage and concerns that the Tesla and SpaceX chief executive officer may be unravelling.

In recent months, he has become increasingly concerned with lashing out at detractors, discrediting journalists, throwing shade on social media and seemingly doing anything to confirm people's suspicions that he is a vainglorious narcissist who doesn't take criticism well.

Sound familiar?

The latest pedo slur (an abbreviation of the term paedophile) was part of a series of tweets by Musk directed in British diver Vern Unsworth, who criticised him for trying to get involved in the rescue attempt.

In an interview with CNN over the weekend, Unsworth said the billionaire's offer of a submarine for the rescue was a publicity stunt, saying Musk "can stick his submarine where it hurts".

"It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine was about five foot six long, rigid, so it wouldn't have gone around corners or around any obstacles. It wouldn't have made the first 50m into the cave … just a PR stunt," he said.

Unsworth was a part of the international team of cave-diving experts who rescued the group of 12 teenage boys and their coach last week, after they had been stuck in the cave since June 23.

This frame grab from video tweeted by Elon Musk shows a
This frame grab from video tweeted by Elon Musk shows a "tiny kid-sized submarine" being tested in a pool at Palisades Charter High School. Photo / AP

Responding to a New York Times piece about what Musk should learn from the Thai rescue, the billionaire unloaded on the British diver in a petty rant suggesting there was something suspect about living in Thailand, a place known for its sex tourism.

Musk claimed he "never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand [sus] at any point when we were in the caves".

After firing off a few tweets, Musk went on to say he would make a video proving the submarine could've got the job done.

"Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it," the 47-year-old tweeted.

When challenged by a Twitter user about the allegation levelled against Unsworth, Musk replied: "Bet ya a signed dollar it's true."

Just like how Trump prefers war heroes who didn't get caught, Musk apparently prefers diving heroes who don't live in Thailand.

Musk's penchant for self-promotion has taken on an ugly quality lately — which has been particularly apparent as he snipes at those involved in the Thai rescue effort like an angry school kid who didn't get picked for the team.

As a CEO, his salesmanship is one thing but many fear his antics are beginning to detract from his ability to run the large, world-changing companies he heads up.

He appears increasingly irritated by questions about Tesla's troubles, from missing production targets to worker injuries in the factory. He has publicly attacked journalists on Twitter, even looking through Facebook photos of a female journalist who he thought was feeding information to investors betting against his electric car company.

This photo tweeted by Elon Musk shows the Silicon Valley magnate after arriving at the caves last week. Photo / AP
This photo tweeted by Elon Musk shows the Silicon Valley magnate after arriving at the caves last week. Photo / AP

In May, when the first cracks in his persona began appearing, during a conference call with investors and the media, Musk avoided rudimentary questions because they were "boring" and "not cool".

"Excuse me. Next. Boring, bonehead questions are not cool. Next?" he said, interrupting one analyst. The behaviour raised plenty of eyebrows on Wall Street.

With the steady flow of unflattering media coverage ever since (often preceded by a Twitter outburst), Musk's biggest fans are wavering and some customers have even decided to cancel their orders for a new Tesla.

Writing for the Australian last week, journalist Caroline Overington had a simple message for Musk after he turned up uninvited to the Thai rescue site. "Here's a Thai take-out for you Elon: go home," she wrote.

You don't have to go home Elon, but for crying out loud put down your phone.