[Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Donald Trump Accused Of Selling Out For TikTok

Earlier in the week, Republicans and Democrats finally united around one thing: banning TikTok, a Chinese social media app that has been accused of spying on Americans while turning teenagers into terrorist sympathizers. 

“A bipartisan measure that could potentially ban social media giant TikTok took a step forward Thursday when a House committee unanimously advancing a bill that, if approved, would give the platform’s Chinese parent company ByteDance six months to sell the app or else be banned altogether, as lawmakers ramp up measures against the widely used app.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 50-0 on Thursday to advance the bill, which would prevent app stores from listing TikTok for users unless ByteDance divests itself of the app,” according to Forbes.

One Republican, however, has come out against the ban, and it’s caused some accusations of selling out by his biggest supporters. 

Despite his previous support for taking action against TikTok due to its Chinese connections, Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, expressed opposition to the recent bill in a Truth Social post on Thursday. 

The post raised a few eyebrows, but one report last week made it appear that Trump had financial reasons to support TikTok. 

The timing of this reversal is interesting. After years of express concern, Congress is moving rapidly to pass a bill to force the Chinese government to divest from TikTok. TikTok has described this as a “ban,” which is erroneous, because it would only require a change of ownership without banning the product. A House committee voted 50-0 to approve the bill, an unusual display of bipartisan unanimity, wrote New York Magazine.

One American who does not share this goal is Jeff Yass, a conservative hedge-fund manager who has a $33 billion stake in TikTok and has reportedly threatened to cut off funding to Republicans who support the divestment bill.

Last week, Yass visited Mar-a-Lago, where Trump praised him as “fantastic,” and media reports touted that Yass could potentially contribute generously to Trump’s campaign.

Of course, it would be odd for Trump to leap to the defense of the Chinese Communist Party. But it would hardly be unprecedented. In 2020, he repeatedly praised Beijing’s leadership in fighting COVID while hoping to land a trade deal that would help his reelection campaign. Trump also maintains a bank account in China, the New York Times found in 2020, one of innumerable damning facts about the former president that the public has forgotten because they’ve been crowded out by other damning facts.

Steve Bannon, “who led Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign and served as a White House adviser for the first several months of Trump’s presidency, took to Gettr to make his suspicions about the situation clear,” noted Newsweek.

“Simple: Yass Coin,” he wrote in a post that included a link to a story about Trump’s change on the alleged Chinese spying app.

This isn’t the first time that Trump has been charged with selling out conservatives over the past month. A year after launching the first and most successful conservative boycott in decades, the former president has capitulated, saying on Truth Social that conservatives needed to give Bud Light a “second chance.”

Politico reported that “Trump’s post on Truth Social represents a major attempt at deescalation in a long-simmering feud between the political movement the former president leads and the mega corporation since April 2023, when it came under fire for a sponsored post with a transgender influencer.

Trump’s message also comes as a top Republican lobbyist for the company is set to host a fundraiser for the former president next month, with some tickets going at $10,000 each.

Jeff Miller, a close confidant of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy who built his Washington business during the Trump years, announced on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday that he would be hosting the fundraiser. The event is set to feature dozens of members of Congress and Republican leadership, as well as Donald Trump Jr.”

The former president has effectively wrapped up the Republican nomination for president, but he’s also in desperate need of cash. The Atlantic wrote that Trump “owes more than $450 million—the amount continues to grow because of interest—in a fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and must put up cash or post a bond by March 25.’

Trump doesn’t have that money on hand. In an April 2023 deposition for the fraud case, Trump said, ‘We have a lot of cash. I believe we have substantially in excess of $400 million in cash, which is a lot for a developer. Developers usually don’t have cash. They have assets, not cash. We have, I believe, $400-plus and going up very substantially every month.’

If this was true at the time, which is doubtful, it is not true now. On February 28, he asked an appellate court to reduce the bond amount in the fraud case to $100 million, and said he might have to sell properties otherwise. The court declined to lower the bond, but did temporarily stay the ruling by the trial judge, Arthur Engoron, that Trump couldn’t seek loans from banks.”

The former president recently installed his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as a leader of the Republican National Committee. She has vowed to use some of the party’s cash reserved for congressional races to help the former president cover his legal bills

Biden has said he’d sign a bill banning TikTok.

This article originally appeared on New Conservative Post. Used with Permission.

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