Republican lawmakers urge Biden to deactivate campaign TikTok account

White House and TikTok did not respond to requests for comment on the letter on Monday, while the Biden campaign declined comment

By REUTERS
February 21, 2024
US President Joe Biden can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

WASHINGTON: A group of 18 Republican lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to deactivate his campaign’s TikTok account citing national security concerns.

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The lawmakers in a letter seen by Reuters said Biden was “ignoring TikTok’s well-established national security risks. How can the federal government warn Americans about the risks of this app if the Commander in Chief uses it, too?” Biden’s campaign joined the short-video app TikTok on Feb 11 and comes as he is courting younger voters. The campaign’s initial video has now been seen 9.6 million times and it has about 162,000 followers.

The lawmakers including Senators Marco Rubio, Jerry Moran, John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, Rick Scott, and Josh Hawley urged Biden to “delete your account and publicly acknowledge the national security threat posed by TikTok.”

The White House and TikTok did not respond to requests for comment on the letter on Monday, while the Biden campaign declined comment. Last week, Democratic Senator Mark Warner raised concerns about the national security implications of TikTok and the Biden campaign decision to join.

“I think that we still need to find a way to follow India, which has prohibited TikTok,” said Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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