Kellyanne Conway: Trump 'didn't tell' Republicans to vote against bill that could lead to TikTok ban

Conway has been advocating against passage of legislation that would require TikTok's owner, the Chinese company Bytedance, to divest in the app or face a ban in the U.S.
Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway, former advisor in the White House during the Trump administration, who is advocating against passage of a bill that would require Bytedance to divest in TikTok, said on Wednesday that former President Trump has not been reaching out to GOP lawmakers to generate opposition to the TikTok legislation. 

"As President Trump said on Monday, his belief that you have a lot of young people on there, a lot of females, a lot of voters who they like it and it's not just for entertainment, maybe it started out that way. There's a lot of connection and community on TikTok. I'm not even on TikTok. I'm not even one of the 170 million users. I just believe in the First Amendment and in the 14th amendment," Conway said at a healthcare summit hosted by POLITICO.

"TikTok could be a national security threat. There's no question and I personally want to hold China to account for any number of things. I think we should be holding China to account. But this is where we're starting? We don't have them confirming the the origins of the COVID virus that killed over a million people in this country and many millions more worldwide. We're not trying to get their fentanyl the hell out of our country and our kids' veins," she added.

The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which could lead to a TikTok ban in the U.S., passed the House in a bipartisan vote. It moves to the Senate for consideration. 

“Why would the GOP wish to be seen as the party of ‘bans’ when Biden is the one banning things: gas stoves, fossil fuels, menthol cigarettes and vapes?” Conway said a statement before the bill's passage, according to POLITICO.

Conway was asked why Trump's rhetoric has changed on the issue of a TikTok ban.

"President Trump stated in August of 2020 that if Congress put it on his desk, he would ban Tiktok, or he would strip it from U.S. app stores. He made it very clear on Squawk Box two days ago. But Congress didn't do that. I like the people. They're nice people, but they don't work that hard. And they don't always do a lot and it never came to his desk. Since then, he has seen how many users there are. He holds China to account in different ways," she said.

Conway rejected the notion that Trump's position on the issue is a reversal and emphasized that Trump hasn't been reaching out to GOP lawmakers urging them to vote against the bill.

"He didn't tell them to vote against the ban. I don't know a single member of Congress that Donald Trump called and said, 'Please vote against this ban.' I don't think that's true. But I think we ought to have the fact that he essentially focused on Zuckerberg and creating a major tech baron here," she said.