Trump's TikTok Flip-Flop Follows Meeting With Platform's Big Investor

Trump's TikTok Flip-Flop Follows Meeting With Platform's Big Investor

Jeffrey Yass

On Monday, Donald Trump appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box and declared that TikTok shouldn't be banned in the United States.

“Without TikTok, you can make Facebook bigger,” he said, “and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people.” This is the exact opposite of Trump’s 2020 position that TikTok should be banned in the United States as a Chinese spying operation. His administration was unsuccessful in getting TikTok removed from app stores, and his executive order attempting to ban the app faced legal challenges and was never enforced.

Trump’s dramatic reversal comes only a couple of weeks after meeting with billionaire Republican megadonor Jeff Yass. Yass’ company, Susquehanna International Group, has a 15 percent stake in ByteDance—the company that owns TikTok. Shocker! When CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin asked Trump about his meeting with Yass and subsequent turnabout on TikTok, Trump claimed Yass “never mentioned TikTok.”

Campaign finance reports have shown a recent and precipitous decline in Trump’s fundraising. The news that Trump’s tap might have run dry comes at a terrible time, as he faces a contentious presidential campaign and owes roughly $542 million in legal debts due to defamation and fraud judgments against him.

Politicoreports that Trump spoke glowingly of Yass—who has previously been a critic of Trump—at a Club for Growth retreat in February, calling Yass “fantastic.”

Yass and Club for Growth spent millions to promote failed presidential candidates like Gov. Ron DeSantis and billionaire autocrat-in-training Vivek Ramaswamy. Trump’s positioning for a little pay-to-play action isn’t guaranteed, but he does have a successful history of transactional presidenting.

Trump’s flip-flop on TikTok also comes during a week when Republican leadership in Congress is set to move against the wildly popular app by proposing legislation that would force the company to be sold or face a ban in the U.S. The lack of integrity at the top of the MAGA food chain is leading to some very awkward moments.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

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