Republican Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota said Friday that President Joe Biden “won’t protect America” by signing a ban on TikTok, even if it was bipartisan.
The White House announced it would support the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, which targets technology from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, China and Venezuela on March 7, NBC News reported. The legislation does not explicitly name TikTok, but senators supporting the legislation have cited the national security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned app.
“I don’t think he will sign it. Because over and over again, this president has proven that he won’t protect America and he won’t make the right decision, especially when there is pressure,” Noem told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade. “And the reason that I think he thinks he can get away with that is because it was just weeks ago we had a Chinese spy balloon flying over this country and we quit talking about it already.”
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified at a Thursday hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he refused to discuss allegations that China was engaged in persecution against Uyghur Muslims.
“If you go to every other network, if you go on social media, even Americans in their coffee shops aren’t talking about the fact that this president allowed China to send a spy balloon over our military installations and gather information, and our president didn’t shoot it down until it was over the ocean and they had difficulty recovering the information that was in it,” Noem added, discussing a spy balloon shot down by an Air Force F-22 Raptor Feb. 4.
“So, I think they believe that our society here in America has ADD, that we don’t pay attention to anything for very long and we forget about these important issues and move on, and that the president has learned that about us as well and thinks if he can just change the narrative, maybe come out with some other political scandal against the other party or a former president, that the American people will just move on and forget about the fact that he is giving away our country and he is giving it away to the enemy,” Noem said, indirectly referencing reports that former President Donald Trump faced a potential indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are beholden to the Chinese Community Party (CCP), and employed former members of Congress, including one-time Democratic Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana, former Republican Sen. Trent Lott, former Democratic Rep. Barton Gordon and former Republican Rep. Jeffrey Dunham, as lobbyists.
The company is also under fire for its involvement in Chinese propaganda, the transmission of user data to China and dangerous challenges that resulted in accidental deaths. Some Democrats in Congress have come out in opposition to banning the social media app, while other Democrats have warmed to a ban of the widely popular social media app, CBS News reported.
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