Bennet Calls for Ban on TikTok: “The Sooner We Ban This, The Better”

Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe ahead of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. After calling on Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to remove TikTok from their app stores, Bennet met with Chew to express his concerns about the platform’s risk to young Americans and our national security.

On what he expects to hear from the TikTok CEO:

“I know what we’re going to hear, which is that we should believe that it’s OK for a wholly-owned subsidiary of ByteDance, that’s controlled by the CCP, to do what it wants in America when it’s been banned in China.”

“When he was in my office, the CEO admitted to me that my interpretation of Chinese law was correct, which was that any time the CPP wanted to say: we’re going to have the data turned over, that ByteDance, and therefore TikTok, had a legal obligation to turn that data over. Now he’s saying something different in his testimony to the committee.”

On China’s use of TikTok:

“[China is] now hypnotizing us with TikTok, which the Average American spends three weeks a year on. I think we can do better than that as a nation, I think we can do better than that as a country, and the sooner we ban this, the better.”

“There were people saying that China would liberalize as a result of the internet, China would democratize as a result of the internet. And of course, what they have done is they have strengthened their surveillance state in ways that George Orwell could never have imagined. They’ve exported it all over the world. They’re hoovering back all of this data to China.”

On bipartisan opposition to TikTok:

“I think this is the path to turning the page on the chaos of Trumpism and saying there is more for us to do as Americans to show up and compete, to demonstrate that this democracy and this capitalist economy of [ours] can create freedom and opportunity for the country, and that we can lead the entire world in a coalition – not against China, not that’s at war with China – but [that] says we have a better view of the way humanity can work than a security state that’s cozying up with Putin, that’s exporting TikTok to the United States, and oppressing the Uyghurs back there. 

“We have a better vision for humanity and I think we can have Republicans and Democrats standing for that. Donald Trump will become an irrelevance in that political world, and we can finally move on and start building a middle class again in this country.”

Bennet also discussed yesterday’s school shooting in Denver and the need to address gun violence affecting schools in Colorado and across the country.

Watch the full interview HERE.