White House dodges TikTok ban question for third press briefing in a row
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio provides insight on the dangers of TikTok and China’s aggressive surveillance on ‘Special Report.’
The White House dodged questions on banning the social media app TikTok for the third press conference in a row.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused Wednesday to give any details on President Biden’s plans for the Chinese-owned video app.
“I think this came up a few times yesterday in the briefing room, and we have said we were going to continue to have the conversation with Congress,” Jean-Pierre told the reporters when asked for an update. “And we think this bipartisanship in moving this important issue to the American people forward is important. And so, look, you know, we got to make sure that there is a comprehensive way, an effective way to address this issue.”
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TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance LTD, is required under Chinese law to share its data with the Chinese Communist Party whenever requested
The back-and-forth between reporters and the White House on the TikTok issue has been tense since the beginning of the month with regular questions about the app.
Jean-Pierre told reporters on March 1 that the federal government is working on a solution for TikTok, though she would not say whether the social media service would be banned.
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Congress voted to give President Biden the power to ban TikTok the same day.
On Monday, Jean-Pierre said at a press conference, “So there’s a CFIUS investigation. So we try not to dive in too much because there is a serious process that’s ongoing. And we want to let that process go forward. But we have been very clear on our concerns, like with apps like TikTok. I’ve said that before.”
Yesterday, the press secretary was questioned on the TikTok issue again and asked if Biden was stalling out of a “political concern” due to the app’s popularity.
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She told reporters, “This is not about a political concern. This is about making sure that we do the right thing for the American people. But you know, again, we’re working with Congress to address concerns posed by apps like TikTok. I don’t have anything else to share.”
TikTok has been banned for use on state-owned electronic devices in several states across the country, as well as at the federal level, over cybersecurity concerns.
Concerns surround the social media platform, which has been accused of harvesting vast amounts of data from its users.
TikTok is currently in the process of establishing two European data centers – one in Ireland – purportedly to segregate the continent’s collected information from Chinese systems. The company also promises to hire a third party to oversee its European sector.
“Project Clover” echoes the U.S.-focused “Project Texas,” which promises to offer some oversight of domestic data collection to the federal government.
Fox News’ Greg Wehner contributed to this report.