On Monday’s edition of NBC’s “MTP Now,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) reacted to President Joe Biden’s campaign getting a TikTok account by stating that he doesn’t have an account on his personal device because “China-based employees are able to both manipulate the algorithm underlying TikTok and also to access U.S. user data in ways that go against what TikTok says is even possible now” and that’s why Biden’s own FBI Director, Christopher Wray, has said the app has security issues.
Krishnamoorthi said, “I’m not going to tell the President how to communicate. That’s not my purview. But I don’t personally have a TikTok account, either on my government device — which is, by the way, it’s prohibited for all members of Congress — but also on my personal device, and the reason is very simple: TikTok is owned by a company called ByteDance. ByteDance is a PRC-based company which is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, and in repeated hearings now, under sworn testimony, we’ve heard various officials of the government and otherwise explain to us how China-based employees are able to both manipulate the algorithm underlying TikTok and also to access U.S. user data in ways that go against what TikTok says is even possible now. And that’s why, at the end of the day, Chris Wray has said that TikTok screams out with ‘national security concerns.‘ And so, I’m going to continue to look at the situation very carefully and try to work on a bipartisan basis to deal with it.”
Host Ryan Nobles then asked, “[I]s it a bit hypocritical for the President, on one end, to push for a ban on government-owned phones, and then, at the same time, extend he and his campaign out on this platform?”
Krishnamoorthi answered, “Well, I think that it’s one thing to ban it on our government devices. I think it’s another thing to do it on a personal device or a campaign device. But, at the end of the day, I’d like to give the Biden administration the authorities through legislation to actually force a sale of TikTok. We don’t want to see a ban of TikTok. … But we just don’t want TikTok to be owned by a company beholden to an adversarial regime.”
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