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Senate Intelligence chair says White House 'very in favor' of bipartisan bill targeting TikTok

"I think the White House is very in favor of this bill," Sen. Warner told host Margaret Brennan. 

Published: March 26, 2023 1:28pm

Virginia Democrat Sen. Mark Warner, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, said Sunday that the White House is "very in favor" of his bipartisan bill taking aim at TikTok.

Warner told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that his Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act has 11 Republican cosponsors and 11 Democrat cosponsors. The legislation would give the Commerce Department the power to review and possibly ban technology that U.S. intelligence has flagged as a credible threat. 

"I think the White House is very in favor of this bill," Warner told host Margaret Brennan. 

The Democratic senator said he "appreciated" TikTok CEO Shou Chew's testimony to Congress last week, but said, "he just couldn't answer the basic question. At the end of the day, Tiktok is owned by a Chinese company Bytedance. And by Chinese law, that company has to be willing to turn over data to the Communist Party."

Warner also said one of his "bigger fears" is that 150 million Americans use TikTok for an average of 90 minutes a day, and China could use the app for "propaganda" or "disinformation."

If TikTok is banned in the U.S., Warner expressed confidence that another platform would take its place. 

Congress has attempted to introduce a TikTok ban on multiple occasions. More than half of all U.S. states have banned TikTok from state-owned devices. The app has also been banned on federally-owned devices, with some exceptions.

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