Trump reverses position on nationwide TikTok ban

Trump reverses position on nationwide TikTok ban
via CNN (left) and FRONTLINE PBS (right)
Ryan General
March 11, 2024
Despite previously advocating for restrictions on TikTok, former President Donald Trump has reversed his position on bipartisan legislation threatening ByteDance’s ownership of the app. 
Congress’ drive to ban TikTok: Bipartisan legislation spearheaded by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R, WI-8) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D, IL-8) aims to compel ByteDance, the Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, to divest from it within a tight deadline or have the popular video sharing app be inaccessible to U.S.-based users. The bill, titled the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” is expected for a vote on the House floor this week after being voted out of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee by a 50-0 vote on Thursday.
What Trump is saying: Trump, who previously advocated for curbing TikTok over national security concerns, took to Truth Social on Thursday to express his opposition to the bipartisan bill. “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” he wrote. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”
The big picture: Trump’s comments purportedly came following a meeting with Jeff Yass, a conservative hedge fund manager with a significant financial stake in TikTok that is reportedly worth $33 billion. Yass has reportedly been pressuring Republican lawmakers to oppose the upcoming bi-partisan bill. 
Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon has spoken out on Gettr regarding the motives behind Trump’s reversal on TikTok, writing: “Simple: Yass Coin.” 
Kotick’s plans: Reports indicate that former Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is exploring options to potentially purchase TikTok amid the legislative push to force ByteDance’s divestment. Citing sources privy to the conversations, the Wall Street Journal reported that Kotick expressed interest in buying TikTok to both ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming and OpenAI’s Sam Altman.
 
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