Senator calls TikTok 'a weapon,' says the American people 'need to know the chilling truth' about it


U.S. Senators are demanding the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information on TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, citing “significant risks” to U.S. national security.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, shared a letter on X Friday that he co-wrote with Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, urging Director Avril Haines to declassify a report about TikTok “in order to better inform the American people about the significant risks the social media platform’s Chinese ownership poses to our national security.”

In the tweets, the Democrat said he was “demanding declassification of TikTok facts — because the American people deserve and need to know the chilling truth about TikTok — it’s a clear & present threat to national security & privacy.”

He added: “It’s a weapon pointed at Americans that all should see clearly.”

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US Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said he was “demanding declassification of TikTok facts — because the American people deserve and need to know the chilling truth about TikTok — it’s a clear & present threat to national security & privacy.” (YURIY DYACHYSHYN/AFP via Getty Images)

The lawmakers’ request comes as the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution forcing the Chinese-owned ByteDance to divest from China.

American intelligence and law enforcement officials on a bipartisan basis have repeatedly raised alarms that the Chinese government can use its direct and absolute control over ByteDance to exert malign influence over what users see on TikTok & spy on their private information,” Blumenthal wrote.

“As we consider steps to separate TikTok from the Chinese gov’t, the American people must understand the national security issues at stake,” he continued. “I’m urging the declassification of information about TikTok/ByteDance.”,

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The comments come just days after a bipartisan group of senators raised alarm over TikTok and its influence over its users.

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The US House of Representatives has passed a landmark bill that could potentially see TikTok banned in the US if the social media Chinese parent company, doesn’t sell its controlling stake.  (Anna Barclay/Getty Images)

The group of lawmakers left a national security briefing regarding TikTok on Wednesday with “deep concern” ahead of a Senate vote on the House-passed bill.

“We had a full hearing room in the classified briefing and there was deep concern about the threat from TikTok on both sides of the aisle,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas described.

“The threats that are posed are significant,” he stressed.

Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., similarly exited the “very powerful briefing” urging to quickly declassify the material.

“I think there was a reason why, when this brief was given on the House side to the Energy and Commerce Committee, afterwards they voted 50 to nothing to move the legislation forward,” Warner said.

Lawmakers outside the Capitol

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, is calling for information about TikTok to be declassified.  (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Warner previously criticized the voluminous data that TikTok could access from its users was a “national security concern.”

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How soon the U.S. Senate could take up the House-passed bill is not immediately clear as bill was referred last week to the committee.

Fox News’ Julia Johnson contributed to this report.



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