GOP Rep. Turner Slams Biden’s ‘Timid’ Approach To China

Governments, schools, and businesses across the country have banned China-owned TikTok on official devices in recent months over mounting security concerns. Last week, senators from both sides of the aisle advanced a proposal to expand the Biden administration’s authority to implement a nationwide ban on the social media platform.

Although President Joe Biden has indicated that he is receptive to such a prohibition, many on the right do not believe he has gone far enough to address the threat.

In a recent ABC News interview, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) offered an assessment of China’s nefarious use of data recorded on the widely popular app.

“We worked really hard to get them out of our telecommunication systems … by getting rid of Huawei systems in our telecommunication,” he said. “And then we’re handing over our phone systems by people downloading a TikTok app, which has no division between, you know, the Chinese company, the Chinese government, and the Chinese Communist Party.”

Turner went on to cite evidence of “the emergence of China as a threat, both militarily and through espionage” that has been uncovered by the nation’s intelligence community, including “the ability for them to insert themselves through TikTok into our data systems.”

Such hostile actions, he asserted, warrant a more aggressive approach than the “timid” White House is endorsing.

“I think even in China they’re afraid to provoke,” the Ohio Republican explained. “And we believe, I think most, who have looked at the intelligence, that look at what’s happening with their military buildup, they’re tripling their side of their nuclear weapons pointed at the United States, they’re expanding their shipbuilding, they’re absolutely emerging as a military threat to the United States.”

In the face of such aggression, Turner concluded: “I think we need to respond and respond very strongly.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has long been sounding the alarm about TikTok, recently pushed back against Biden administration grumblings about the possible political disadvantage associated with implementing a nationwide ban.

“People were horrified by the Chinese spy balloon that flew through multiple states in our nation,” he said. “However, that level of spying happens every day through TikTok, which is a clear national security risk that collects and manipulates content on behalf of the [Chinese Communist Party]. We know that TikTok has surveilled and spied on journalists, violating civil liberties. This is not just some harmless social media app, but a critical tool that gives Beijing power over the day-to-day lives of more than 100 million Americans.”