The left has taken a rather nonchalant approach in addressing TikTok’s clear ties to China but even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has now conceded that Congress should consider banning the app. “How about banning TikTok,?” George Stephanopoulos host of ABC’s “This Week,” asked Schumer on Sunday. The senator surprisingly didn’t completely shut down the idea.
“Well, that's a great question,” said Schumer. “It's something that should be looked at.” He acknowledged Chinese ownership and added, “there are some people in the Commerce Committee that are looking into that right now. We'll see — we'll see where they come out.”
Schumer also claimed to be a “China hawk” and praised the Biden administration’s supposedly “strong and tough” approach to China. But Schumer’s tough act is simply that — an act. Republican lawmakers like Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have actively led the effort to ban TikTok over the last couple of years.
“The American public should be very skeptical of what Chuck Schumer says about TikTok,” MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said. “He’s been the senate majority leader for years and has done absolutely nothing substantive to stop the Chinese Communist Party from infiltrating America.”
In 2021, Hawley introduced a bill that passed in the senate unanimously that would ban TikTok from government devices. Hawley called the app a “malicious actor” and “a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices.” The bill passed the Senate but has yet to be resurrected in a new congressional session.
The app has since been banned from military devices and the media outlet Government Technology has tracked 28 states that have taken at least some action against the app.
President Joe Biden has dragged his feet on the issue. Biden apparently saw value in banning TikTok in some capacity given the fact that his campaign sent an email to staffers telling them to delete the app from their devices, according to Axios. However, the president has yet to implement any similar bans as Commander in Chief.
A Trump administration executive order attempted to ban TikTok by removing it from app stores, but a federal judge granted an injunction that allowed the platform to remain operable in the U.S.
In 2021, Biden revoked the Trump-era executive order that banned communist Chinese-owned apps like TikTok and WeChat. Biden replaced it with his own “Executive Order on Protecting Americans’ Sensitive Data from Foreign Adversaries,” which his administration claimed establishes new criteria for determining whether foreign-owned apps constitute a threat.
TikTok hasn’t missed a beat though. The Washington Examiner reported that TikTok and its parent company ByteDance have made concentrated efforts to influence the Biden administration, scoring repeated visits to the White House amid concerns the app shares user information with the communist Chinese government. The outlet summarized that the visitor logs provided a “window into how the Chinese government-linked social media operation has gained influence in Washington.”
Independent Contractor Autumn Johnson and former MRC Free Speech America Writer and Researcher Alec Schemmel contributed to this report.
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