Democrat Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia admitted former President Trump was right—at least when it comes to popular video-sharing app TikTok.
During an interview with "Fox News Sunday," the senator said the Chinese-owned app is a major threat from security and privacy standpoints.
“I think Donald Trump was right. I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat,” he told host Shannon Bream. “So, if you're a parent, and you've got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned. All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing."
This is not the first time Warner has acknowledged Trump was correct in his efforts to ban the app. He made similar comments last month to The Sydney Morning Herald.
"This is not something you would normally hear me say, but Donald Trump was right on TikTok years ago," he said. "If your country uses Huawei, if your kids are on TikTok … the ability for China to have undue influence is a much greater challenge and a much more immediate threat than any kind of actual, armed conflict."
The comments come as Republican lawmakers and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr have called for a ban on the social media app over concerns about how TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, handles data.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has also spoken up about the threat posed by China in general and TikTok specifically.
“China’s vast hacking program is the world’s largest, and they have stolen more Americans’ personal and business data than every other nation combined,” he said recently during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing.
He also addressed the dangers surrounding TikTok.
“They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations if they so chose or to control software on millions of devices, which gives the opportunity to potentially tactically compromised personal devices,” Wray said.
The app is currently in negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency committee that reviews foreign companies' deals, to see if it can be divested from ByteDance .
CFIUS is looking at ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly, which it then combined with its own TikTok app to become what it is today. TikTok is reportedly trying to reach an agreement with CFIUS that would allow it to continue to operate in the US, but it hasn’t gotten there yet. CFIUS can and has blocked or unwound acquisitions before. It could do it again. So even though Trump is no longer in power, TikTok still faces the same threat of being kicked out of the United States or forced to be divested from its parent company. (Vox)
Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner on TikTok: "I think Donald Trump was right. TikTok is an enormous threat." pic.twitter.com/8g2fRwxrF7— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2022
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