$1 million to plant trees donated by Elon Musk after testifying that he’s cash-poor

Elon Musk has donated $1 million worth of trees ($1 per tree) to YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, who’s currently campaigning to raise $20 million from fellow YouTube celebrities for a climate change fundraising effort. That’s intriguing, because Musk said in sworn testimony recently that he’s financially illiquid.

Musk told the YouTuber he would make the donation on Twitter after some nudging by Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee, who has interviewed Musk in the past and is an avid Tesla fan. Musk initially showed interest yesterday, asking on Twitter about the type of trees being planted as part of MrBeast’s fundraising effort. MrBeast responded that the trees are being planted on every continent save Antarctica; the type of tree depends on where it goes. 

The fundraising program has been successful even without a Musk donation; MrBeast has raised more than $6 million. The project is a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation.When Brownlee told Musk that, Musk replied, “sounds legit,” and pledged to donate 1 million trees.

In the past, Musk has engaged in a playful back-and-forth with MrBeast, who’s become famous on YouTube for philanthropic stunts that largely involve giving away huge sums of money, sometimes to total strangers. The YouTuber promised to purchase a Tesla after telling Musk he would do so if the chief executive hosted an episode of “Meme Review” on the channel of Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. After Musk hosted Meme Review, MrBeast followed through. MrBeast has since asked Musk if he would help him “vlog on the moon.” 

But it appears Musk has indeed donated the money for the trees: as of 8:50 PM ET, he’s now listed in the top spot with 1 million tree donations according to the Team Trees page, which seems to require an actual donation (not just a pledge) to appear on the leaderboard

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