Trump Opposes TikTok Ban, Supports Sale To US Company

Former President Donald Trump, who recently became the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential ticket to unseat President Joe Biden, told viewers that a TikTok ban is not consistent with freedom of speech in an interview Thursday on the Fox News Channel show “Special Report” with Howard Kurtz.

This week, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill to ban TikTok in the United States unless its Chinese parent company sells it to a U.S. buyer within a short timeframe. The bill’s future in the Senate is uncertain, but President Joe Biden has indicated he would sign it into law if Congress gets it to his desk. But Trump says a ban is not such a good idea.

The former president supported making ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, sell the app to a U.S. buyer. “Let them sell TikTok, let them sell it in the market, maybe get a good price, maybe not get a good price. I don’t know, but take it away from China’s control. But I think China controls Facebook, also, because they have tremendous power in that company,” he said.

But Trump opposed a ban. “There’s a danger to banning it with freedom of speech. I found Facebook to be extremely dishonest. And what would happen is, if you ban TikTok, if you take it away, we have a new concept, but if you take it away, those people are going to go into Facebook. And Facebook, in my opinion, was worse than TikTok by a lot.”

China does not directly control Facebook, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other shareholders own. However, the New York Times and others have reported that the Chinese government has agents using the social network to influence U.S. public opinion and elections even though the government bans the app for most of its citizens.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) voted against the bill: “I voted no against the bill because I think that it opens up many possibilities. There could be unintended consequences — or maybe some intended consequences. If we care about protecting people’s data, then we should protect Americans’ data universally from every company that is using their data or selling their data.”