Did Steve Bannon suggest Trump has been bought over TikTok? Here is his 3-word response.

Former President Trump’s opposition to legislation banning TikTok seemed to trigger suspicions about his shift in opinion by his one-time adviser Steve Bannon.

Bannon posted a simple response to Trump’s evident shift in previous calls to ban the social media app owned by China-based parent company ByteDance.

With concerns that the video-sharing platform has been furnishing user data to the Chinese government, Trump ordered a ban on the app in 2020 when he was still in office.

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance Ltd. … through acquiring all interests in musical.​ly … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump wrote in his executive order at the time.

Lawmakers have continued to express concerns over the immensely popular platform’s ties to China though ByteDance and TikTok have denied allegations.

“A bipartisan bill put forward by members of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party last week would work to ‘incentivize divestment of TikTok’ by ByteDance by blocking it from appearing in American app stores and granting Executive Branch authority to take similar action in the future against social media companies operated by a ‘foreign adversary.'” Newsweek reported.

“Lawmakers on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce advanced the legislation last week in a 50-0 bipartisan vote to the full U.S. House of Representatives,” the outlet added. “TikTok, meanwhile, characterized the bill as a ban, and urged users to encourage their local representatives to block it.”

But in a surprise move, Trump last week expressed his opposition to the measure, known as the “Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act.”

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, referring to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!” the leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate added.

The former president got some support on his stance from X owner Elon Musk and others.

But some noted that Trump’s apparent flip on banning TikTok came soon after meeting with hedge fund manager Jeff Yass, who “has a $33 billion stake in TikTok,” according to Newsweek, which noted that “Yass, according to Intelligencer, has been allegedly threatening to pull support from GOP lawmakers who back the bipartisan divestment bill.”

Trump’s 180-degree turn prompted a post from Bannon who linked to an Axios article titled, “Inside Trump’s TikTok flip-flop.”

“Simple: Yass Coin,” he wrote on Gettr.

According to the Axios article, “Neither Trump nor his campaign posts on TikTok, but the shift in position is a sign that the former president recognizes the platform’s massive appeal to younger voters — many of whom are disenchanted with Biden.”

“Snippets of speeches, impersonations, and other organic content involving Trump routinely rack up tens of millions of views on TikTok,” the outlet noted. “Prominent MAGA figures, conservative comedians and other cultural commentators with large followings are highly active on TikTok, which has become one of the top sources of news for Gen Z.”

And while others seem to agree with Trump’s opposition to a ban, sone were critical of the former president’s stance.

Frieda Powers

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