Concern over China threat becoming increasingly bipartisan as Dems speak out against CCP, TikTok

Sen. Tom Cotton compared TikTok's threat to that of the Chinese spy balloon

The Chinese spy balloon that traveled over the U.S. before being shot down over the Atlantic highlighted the ongoing threat of the Chinese Communist Party, which more and more is being addressed in public comments by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke out against the use of the balloon, tweeting that "China’s aggressive behavior is a violation of international norms and shows a reckless disregard for the safety of American citizens." Besides blatant spy tech like the balloon, Democrats are now also joining their GOP counterparts against TikTok and the national security problems it poses.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., raised the issue on "Fox News Sunday," stating that if the American public is worried about the balloon, "let me tell them about the TikTok app that they may have on their phone, and what it means for their security, and their privacy, and that of their children as well."

"We obviously have issues here," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said about Chinese spying on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. Addressing TikTok in particular, Booker identified two ways to deal with the situation.


"One, the proactive step of banning and on government devices is something that the United States federal government is doing, states and even localities are doing," Booker said. "But the other way to go about this is going directly to the company."

The New Jersey Democrat elaborated by saying that TikTok is "now working with U.S. intelligence folks to try to make sure that the proper precautions are taken, so the Chinese cannot get access and use it for spying."

Other Democrats are calling for stronger action. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., sent a letter to Apple and Google parent company Alphabet on Thursday, urging them to ban TikTok from their respective app stores. Bennet said the Chinese-owned app presented an "unacceptable threat" to U.S. national security.


"Like most social media platforms, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including faceprints and voiceprints. Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok poses a unique concern because Chinese law obligates ByteDance … to ‘support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work,’" Bennet wrote.

"These obvious risks render TikTok, in its current form, an unacceptable threat to the national security of the United States. No company subject to CCP dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population. Given these risks, I urge you to remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately," he added.

Warner also expressed concerns about TikTok, telling FOX Business on Thursday that in addition to data collection, the app – and by extension the Chinese government  – can have significant influence on Americans who use the app for an average of 90 minutes a day.

"The ability to use this as a misinformation or propaganda piece is huge," Warner said.


These warnings come as Republicans have also been fierce opponents of TikTok. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., are pushing legislation to ban the app in the U.S. entirely. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned of the influence the app can have on young users, telling "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "the degree to which they have infiltrated our children is really disturbing."

FOX Business' Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.