House Intel Chair Defends TikTok Bill, Warns Of Chinese ‘Propaganda Tool’
Chairman Michael Turner (R-OH) speaks at a hearing with the House (Select) Intelligence Committee in the Cannon Office Building on March 12, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On Sunday, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) offered a defense of the bill passed by the lower chamber last week that could lead to a U.S. ban on TikTok unless its Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, divests in the popular social media app.

“This Week” anchor Martha Raddatz asked Turner about the legislation on ABC News, noting that his support for the bill is one area in which he has broken with former President Donald Trump. “That bill could potentially ban TikTok. You say it’s a national security concern,” she said. “I know you had that classified briefing. What can you tell us to make it more clear to Americans why this is a problem?”

Turner replied, “We have to first start with, that China is a country that’s not like us. It’s an authoritarian regime that has self-identified as an adversary to the United States. It has banned Twitter. It has banned Facebook. It has banned YouTube in China.”

He added, “It understands the power of social media and social media apps. It certainly seeks in a number of illegal ways to obtain the data of Americans that it can use as part of its perpetration of this greater surveillance society that it uses to control its own population.”

When Chinese President Xi Jinping stood next to President Vladimir Putin in Russia, Turner continued, “he openly said it to the world what his intentions were. He said that we, the two of them, are going to bring about change that hasn’t happened in 100 years. That’s the battle between authoritarianism and democracy and that’s certainly what we’re seeing in China’s — both economic, its propaganda and certainly its military buildup that is part of its self-declaration as an adversary of the United States.”

Raddatz asked the congressman if there is “recent” evidence showing that TikTok is sending “significant” amounts of data about Americans to the Chinese government.

“What you see is a structural relationship for which there is not divisions, and there are great concerns about the individuals’ privacy and issues of data between TikTok and the communist Chinese party,” Turner replied.

“But what you have even more importantly here is that this is a propaganda tool, these algorithms, this influencing through social apps, being in the hands of a self-declared adversary of the United States, one that has…banned Twitter, banned Facebook and banned YouTube, understands the use of these tools to be able to manipulate a society, and that’s certainly is one the greatest concerns that we have,” he said.

The Senate is up next in considering the legislation, which demands ByteDance sell TikTok within 180 days of enactment or risk having the app face a clampdown in the United States. If it were to pass in the upper chamber too, President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill into law.

Raddatz closed out the interview by noting, “You had a lot of TikTokkers up on the Hill this week who—and TikTok apparently supports a minimum of 224,000 jobs in this country.” She then asked Turner what he would say to Americans who might lose their livelihood.


“I don’t think they’ll lose their livelihood. They have obviously undertaken a livelihood that is communicating to people through social apps and social media, and this is not a ban on TikTok as you know. This is actually a piece of legislation that requires that the Chinese ownership of TikTok be divested so that we would sever that relationship between Chinese ownership, the Chinese government, the Chinese communist party that is of such troubling concerns,” he replied.

“And, you know, India has previously banned TikTok over the exact same concerns. These are concerns that as you look at what China is doing around the world, their propagation of a surveillance society, their even illegal means in which they’re acquiring data on Americans and people around the world, their use of propaganda, their own banning of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube because of their concerns of the voices of democracy being heard, you can see what a great concern this is to our country.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Intel Chair Defends TikTok Bill, Warns Of Chinese ‘Propaganda Tool’