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Donald Trump Attempts to Sabotage His National Security Legacy Because He's Mad


It is a remarkable turn of events for Donald Trump.

The former President led the nation and much of the Western World to realize that the Chinese spy app TikTok threatens national security. During his tenure in office, Trump tried to bar TikTok’s operations in the United States because the company is, ultimately, owned by the Chinese Communist Party. There is copious evidence China uses the app to spy.

Unfortunately, Trump left office before ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese-owned parent company, was forced to divest, and Biden walked it all back. But even Biden, despite his campaign embracing TikTok, has continued to prohibit TikTok on government phones and in government facilities. Multiple states now ban TikTok on government property and on government devices.

Many of you believe your phones are listening to you. You have a conversation and suddenly see an ad on social media on your device for precisely what you were talking about. Imagine all those conversations flowing back to China.

You think you don’t have anything to worry about. But get a new phone, not your current phone. Set up a new TikTok account that is unconnected to any information related to you and not on your home wifi. Now, watch how the algorithm starts feeding you anti-American propaganda, transgender propaganda, pro-Hamas propaganda, and anti-Semitic propaganda — TikTok isn’t just spying on you but is indoctrinating your children against American values.

Just the other day, the government arrested 25 year old Sergeant Korbein Schultz from Texas for selling classified military intelligence to China. Schultz worked in Army Intelligence1. Now, imagine your kid, ten years from now, getting a job in government. China has ten years’ worth of data on what your kid was secretly watching on the internet and engaging with on TikTok. They won’t need money to blackmail your kid.

TikTok is a national security threat to the United States, and Donald Trump was right to raise the red flag about it and take action. On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 50-0 to force ByteDance to divest its control of TikTok to continue operating in the United States. When is the last time Congress agreed unanimously to anything other than naming a post office? That’s how big a deal this is.

The bill does not ban TikTok. It has nothing to do with free speech. It has everything to do with China using TikTok as a surveillance tool in the United States and as an app designed to poison our children. TikTok can operate, just not with Chinese control. Contrary to the spin against the legislation, this carefully drafted bipartisan legislation has nothing to do with the First Amendment and everything to do with Chinese communist control of the app.

Sadly, now Donald Trump is calling for Republicans to kill the legislation. In a Truth Social post, he claims it would only help Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Because Trump is still nursing grudges about 2020, he claims killing TikTok (which the legislation does not do) would enrich Meta.

This is not only false, but in taking this stance, Trump is letting his emotional wrath trump national security. It is dangerous immaturity.

And, for the record, Meta refuses to operate in China because it does not want China to have access to its servers. TikTok is controlled by China.

It must also be noted that the members of Congress and conservative groups most vocally opposed to this legislation are all funded by financier Jeff Yass. Yass is a major investor in TikTok and is opposed to the legislation. He also leans Republican in his giving.

Yass’s investment company, Susquehanna International Group, bet big on TikTok in 2012, buying a stake in parent company ByteDance now measured at about 15%. That translates into a personal stake for Yass of 7% in ByteDance. It is worth roughly $21 billion based on the company’s recent valuation, or much of his $28 billion net worth as gauged by Bloomberg.

Whether because of a donor’s interests or his emotional grievances, Donald Trump trying to sabotage his legacy on national security is shameful and dangerous and, if a preview of what will come from a second term, is less than reassuring.


Side note: there are a growing number of military personnel from intelligence operations who are getting arrested for undermining national security. Likewise, Aaron Bushnell was in Air Force Intelligence and set himself on fire. Another female progressive activist also in Air Foce Intelligence defended Bushnell. Reality Winner, who leaked intelligence about Trump, was an NSA contractor. Something dangerous is festering within the military intelligence community.

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Erick Erickson hosts the Erick Erickson Show every weekday from 12pm to 3pm ET, now in national syndication from his flagship station, WSB in Atlanta, GA.