Trump says he is considering banning TikTok

John T. Bennett
Washington DC
,Griffin Connolly
Wednesday 29 July 2020 15:50 BST
Trump says he did not discuss reports of Russia paying Taliban to kill US troops in phone call with Putin last week

In his typically vague-yet-ominous way, Donald Trump said his administration is "looking at" whether it might make a decision to shut down TikTok in the United States.

The social media app is owned by a Chinese firm – though allegedly run by an American CEO. US officials have raised concerns about the Chinese government tapping into private and personal data via Americans' cell phones via such smart phone applications.

The president called the actions of that and other big technology companies "very bad," but did not get into specifics. He has in the past accused them of censoring conservatives.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently issued a warning for Americans who use TikTok.

"With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura," he said. "I don't want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it's something we're looking at."

Some GOP lawmakers also have been outspoken about TikTok.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley has pushed a bill that would ban federal employees from using the app on their government phones.

Congress is also wary of the Chinese-owned social media app.

An amendment from GOP Congressman Ken Buck banning federal employees from downloading the app on their government phones made it into the Democratic-controlled House's version of the annual defence spending bill that passed earlier this month.

A Senate Homeland Security subcommittee approved a twin bill in that chamber last week.

"TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices," Mr Hawley said in March, when he introduced his bill.

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