President Trump reiterated on Monday afternoon that he's fine with Microsoft or another American tech company buying TikTok, but he said that a “large percentage” of the sale should go into the U.S. Treasury.
“I will tell you there’s a lot of excitement by Microsoft and others so well see what happens,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “But we deserve to have big percentage of price coming to Treasury.”
Trump earlier in the day gave his verbal approval to a potential deal between TikTok and an American company like Microsoft, but he said TikTok had until Sept. 15 to close such a deal or face a U.S. ban.
"Here’s the deal. I don't mind if — whether it's Microsoft or somebody else — a big company, a secure company, a very American company buys it," Trump told reporters at the White House. "It's probably easier to buy the whole thing than to buy 30 percent of it. … Who's going to get the name, the name is hot."
The Trump administration has been weighing TikTok's fate since last year, launching an investigation into the short video company amid fears that its Beijing-based parent ByteDance shares customer information with the Communist Chinese government.
ByteDance entered into talks about a month ago with Microsoft to buy TikTok's U.S. operations as a way to save the business from a decision by the administration that would prevent the popular app from being used by U.S. consumers.
Microsoft confirmed Sunday that it was in talks over a potential TikTok purchase.
"Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns," the company said in a statement. "It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury."
Microsoft said it would wrap up discussions with ByteDance by Sept. 15.