Testimony from this TikTok executive just exposed one major issue that could unite Democrats and Republicans

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It seems as though there’s nothing Republicans and Democrats can agree on these days.

Both sides of the aisle are stuck in tribalism that makes it impossible to pass meaningful legislation.

And now testimony from this TikTok executive just exposed one major issue that could unite Democrats and Republicans.

TikTok CEO confronted about Chinese manipulation and spying

TikTok is a social media platform that captivates user attention through short form videos that seem to go on forever.

Despite many warnings to the public, the platform has dominated the industry in the United States, and is now getting attention from Congress.

TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, was called before the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this week to discuss the potential threat that his company poses to the American people.

Members of Congress hoped to discuss how the Chinese Communist Party could use the app to “manipulate” and “spy” on everyday Americans.

Chew pushed back on the allegations, claiming that TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, had never worked at the behest of the CCP.

Members of Congress cited reports by the intelligence community to assert their claims, and imply that the CEO was lying to the Committee.

This might have been the first sign of unity in our country in years.

Rep. Rodgers opens saying that “TikTok surveils us all”

Members of both parties grilled Chew over his company’s government affiliations.

Opening remarks from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the Committee’s chairperson, laid the foundation for a remarkable hearing.

She stated that “CCP laws require Chinese companies like ByteDance to spy on their behalf.

That means any Chinese company must grant the CCP access and manipulation capabilities as a design feature.” 

According to Rep .Rodgers, that means that “TikTok surveils us all” and that the CCP can ultimately use the app “as a tool to manipulate America as a whole.”

She said that this goes against everything that America was built on, and that no one in the country should “trust TikTok” to embrace their values.

Chew rejected the idea, and said that “ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” and certainly “it is not owned or controlled by any government or state entity.”

This directly contradicted reports from 2021 that indicated the CCP had purchased shares of the company directly, and had appointed a director on the board.

Then, Rep. Anna Eshoo (R-CA) took a swing at the CEO.

Rep Ashoo says TikTok’s claim it is independent of CCP is “preposterous”

During Rep. Eshoo’s time for questioning, she brought up the issue of data access.

She asked whether the American people should feel safe knowing that the Communist Chinese government has access to wide swathes of their personal data.

The CEO demurred stating that nothing like this is happening as far as he’s aware.

“I have seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to the data,” Chew claimed. “They have never asked us. We have not provided.” 

Rep. Eshoo didn’t just say that she rejected the claim, but that it was “preposterous.”

But later in the hearing, Chew would contradict his own statements, and actually affirm Eshoo’s claim.

In an exchange with Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) the CEO was asked again about access to American’s data, and he admitted that “yes, Chinese engineers do have access to global data,” before adding that it is a “private business,” not a government entity.

The only problem is that he cannot guarantee that no agents of the Chinese Communist Party work as engineers at the company.

US Political Daily will keep you updated on any developments to this ongoing story.