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Fox News host Jesse Watters grilled Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during an interview on Wednesday for supporting a bill that he did not realize that he had co-signed.
The RESTRICT Act, which was created by Congress to effectively allow the Secretary of Commerce to ban TikTok and other foreign threats from the U.S., has faced backlash in recent days over what the bill could mean for Americans’ freedoms.
“Let’s try to get some answers out of the Senator Lindsey Graham, who supports this and is here now,” Watters said. “You got to be kidding me, Senator. Did you read this?”
“Yeah, I don’t think I support the RESTRICT Act,” Graham said.
“You don’t support this?” Watters asked. “Because you are named as one of those supporters [and] this is garbage.”
A couple minutes later Watters appeared to take a swipe at Graham, saying: “Maybe it’s like Fetterman when your chief of staff does all your work for you.”
I break the news to Lindsey Graham that he co-sponsored a bill he doesn’t support pic.twitter.com/zGze0NreCD
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) March 29, 2023
JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: Let’s try to get some answers out of the Senator Lindsey Graham, who supports this and is here now. You got to be kidding me, Senator. Did you read this?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Yeah, I don’t think I support the RESTRICT act.
WATTERS: You don’t support this, because you are named as one of those supporters? Because this is garbage.
GRAHAM: Is this the one with John? There’s two bills out there. One allows a review of businesses that are connected to China, gives the Secretary the ability to protect our data. Is that the RESTRICT Act?
WATTERS: We got S686, right here. March 7 and we got a bunch of Republicans supporting it. Because this thing is crazy town. You don’t want the government looking into your private phone?
GRAHAM: No, I don’t and they can’t.
WATTERS: If they have a hunch you’re colluding with the Russians, we remember how that turned out.
GRAHAM: Yeah, no. Well, the Constitution trump’s a statute. So let me come back and, you know, give you a better explanation. Here’s the problem as I see it. China is the parent company of TikTok. And my nieces like TikTok. I don’t mind them using TikTok. I just don’t want the Chinese government to seize all their data and manipulate the information America sees for political purposes. China is helping drug cartels in Mexico. China is not a friend. Chinese espionage is at an all time high against American business interests. So I want to push back against China, but within a constitutional framework, you’re right about that. So you made these allegations, and I’ll come answer better next time.
WATTERS: I mean, because on Congress.gov, you’re listed as one of the co-sponsors of this thing. Maybe it’s like Fetterman when your chief of staff does all your work for you, but Senator, you got to go back and talk to these other senators about this. This thing is nuts. And it’s gonna get abused like it always does. So we got to clean this up. Can we clean this up?
GRAHAM: Well, yeah, I mean, number one, yeah, I owe you a better explanation [than] I’m giving you. John Thune has got a bill to make sure the Secretary of Commerce can deal with this, not just TikTok. But the general idea that China, we’re under attack by China. Now, that’s a fact. Chinese Communist Party is stealing American data, espionage against American businesses is at an all time. According to the FBI, it’s the number one challenge they face. China’s providing drug precursors to make fentanyl in Mexico that’s killing Americans. So yeah, I’m definitely going to push back against China being able to steal your data, but I want to do it in a constitutionally sound manner. So the problem is real with China, but the solution can be more damaging than the price.
WATTERS: Don’t push back on the United States’ citizens for something China is doing.