TikTok blasts Biden administration, Congress over bipartisan bill banning the app on government devices
The Senate unanimously passed the legislation, and the House may include it in the spending package
TikTok is slamming the Biden administration and Congress for the "troubling" bipartisan legislation that would implement what the company says is a "politically motivated" ban on the video-sharing app on government devices, and argues the bill would do "nothing" to advance the national security of the U.S.
The Senate this week unanimously passed a bill that would ban the Chinese-owned video-sharing app on government devices, after major security concerns were raised by both Democrat and Republican lawmakers and Biden administration officials.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Friday announced that she supports the inclusion of language banning TikTok on those government devices in the omnibus spending bill she hopes to pass by the end of next week.
SENATE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD BAN TIKTOK ON GOVERNMENT DEVICES
But TikTok is slamming the bipartisan measure, sponsored by Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.
"It is troubling that rather than encouraging the administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for politically motivated bans that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States," a TikTok spokesperson said Friday.
"TikTok is loved by millions of Americans who use the platform to learn, grow their businesses and connect with creative content that brings them joy," the spokesperson said.
TikTok said the company will "continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies — plans that we are well underway in implementing — to further secure our platform in the United States."
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company based in Beijing.
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U.S. officials and lawmakers have warned that the Chinese Communist Party could compel the company to turn over American users' data or expose them to propaganda.
TikTok and ByteDance are currently under investigation by the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which evaluates national security risks associated with foreign-owned companies operating in the U.S. or foreign investments in American companies.
The legislation comes amid the investigation and heightened warnings from Biden administration officials about the app.
FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier this month warned that Chinese officials have broad access to TikTok, allowing them "to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations."
"All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that's very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us," Wray said.
Wray has said he is "extremely concerned" about the threats posed by the app, explaining that the Chinese government can use it to "control data collection on millions of users," and then have the "opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices" of Americans.
TIKTOK POSES 'LEGITIMATE NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS': TREASURY SECRETARY YELLEN
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that there are "legitimate national security concerns" with regard to TikTok.
While Biden administration officials and lawmakers are issuing stark warnings about TikTok, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began sounding the alarm on the video-sharing app in 2020.
The Trump administration proposed a ban on TikTok over concerns that the app exposed Americans to having their personal information sent straight to the Chinese government.
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Pompeo, a Fox News contributor, said earlier this month the government "100%" should ban TikTok, calling it "a powerful tool with deeply embedded AI" and warning that it is "an element of the Chinese security apparatus."
As for China, top intelligence community officials continue to warn that the country poses the "biggest long-term threat" to U.S. economic and national security.
Fox Business' Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.