Trump calls TikTok a threat but says some kids could ‘go crazy’ without itBreaking

March 12, 2024

US presidential candidate Donald Trump said TikTok was a national security threat but also said a ban on the popular app would hurt some kids and only strengthen Meta Platforms’ (META.O), opens new tab Facebook, which the Republican has harshly criticized. Trump reiterated his concerns as lawmakers weigh a bill this week that would give TikTok’s Chinese owner ByteDance about six months to divest the short video app used by 170 million Americans. The US House of Representatives is set to vote on Wednesday under fast-track rules that require two-thirds of members to vote “yes” for the measure to win passage. TikTok told Congress late Monday in a letter seen by Reuters it is “not owned or controlled by the Chinese government” and argued if the company was sold another buyer would not continue TikTok’s $1.5 billion effort to protect US data.

“Ironically, US user data could be less secure under a divestment scheme,” the company said. The FBI, Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence plan to hold on Tuesday a classified briefing for House members, two sources said. FBI Director Chris Wray reiterated concerns about TikTok at a hearing on Monday. The 2024 Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community released on Monday said “TikTok accounts run by a PRC propaganda arm reportedly targeted candidates from both political parties during the US midterm election cycle in 2022.”

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP)