Trump not ready to OK TikTok deal, admits US won't get cut
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he expects to get a report Thursday about Oracle's bid for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and admitted there is no legal path to letting the U.S. Treasury get a cut of the deal — a proposition experts had criticized as unprecedented and possibly illegal.
“I’m not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal,” Trump told White House reporters Wednesday evening about Oracle's interest in TikTok.
Some in the U.S. have raised concerns about the deal, fearing that ByteDance Ltd., the Chinese company that owns TikTok, would maintain access to information on the 100 million TikTok users in the United States.
“It has to be 100% as far as national security is concerned," Trump said.
The president previously said that he would ban TikTok if it wasn't sold to an American company. In an Aug. 6 order, Trump said TikTok “reportedly censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive,” is potentially a source for disinformation campaigns and “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”
TikTok maintains that it has not shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government and would not do so, says it does not censor videos at the request of Chinese authorities and notes that moderators for U.S. operations are led by a U.S. team.
Trump said he was stunned to learn that the Treasury could not receive any payment in exchange for the U.S. signing off on the deal.
“Amazingly, I find that you’re not allowed to do that,” Trump said. “If they’re willing to make big payments to the government they’re not allowed because ... there’s no legal path to doing that. ... How foolish can we (the United States)...