Matthew Foldi Profile picture
Mar 23 97 tweets 75 min read
NEW from me @TheSpectator:

I’m at today’s long awaited @tiktok_us hearing, where the Communist spyware CEO is going to gaslight America

He’s now on on Cap Hill with a Socialist Congressman and a Biden-tied Mao lover's firm in his pockets…

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TikTok’s CEO is gearing up for a grilling in Congress, but he’s got some new, powerful allies in his corner: a political consulting firm whose founder lavished praise on Mao Zedong and is now one of Biden’s top aides — and a socialist congressman who……
Shou Zi Chew, the company’s CEO, is at @HouseCommerce, where Republicans are planning to press him on the national security concerns posed by the video app’s parent company ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party.…

Chew is an odd person to push back against claims by Republicans — and, increasingly, some Democrats — that TikTok is inextricably linked to the CCP. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Chew, while working as a venture capitalist, was one of the……
As a Chinese company, ByteDance is subject to a Chinese law that “requires companies to give the government any personal data relevant to the country’s national security,” per the AP. In fact, Chew briefly served as the CFO of ByteDance before “he and the……
The Chinese government itself actually “has taken a stake and a board seat in TikTok owner ByteDance’s key Chinese entity, Beijing ByteDance Technology,” according to Reuters!!!…

But Chew is rolling into the hearing with friends in high places. In recent months, TikTok has brought on @SKDK, which Politico calls “the most well-connected Democratic firm in Washington with former top employees in senior and mid-level roles in the……
TikTok has spent over $10 million on its lobbying efforts in recent years, and its SKDK hiring is one of its latest moves. One of its founding partners, Anita Dunn, has been working in and out of senior roles in the Biden administration since its beginning……
Now, Dunn is in the Biden White House as a senior advisor, where she’s joined by a ton of her former SKDK colleagues, including deputy White House communications directors Kate Berner and Herbie Ziskend, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh, and……
TikTok is evidently hoping SKDK employees still have a cozy relationship with their White House counterparts — and watchdogs are raising red flags.…

To that end, @michaelpchamber, director of @PublicsTrust, told me that “these are the types of situations that contribute to the public’s growing mistrust of government. The revolving door between lobbying firms and the federal government is……
There is currently no evidence of SKDK directly working with anyone in the administration on TikTok specifically. But @michaelpchamber pointed out that the Biden administration gives a lot of leeway on ethics.…

“While federal employees are prohibited from engaging with their former employers under many circumstances, we have documented more than seventy waivers handed out by the Biden administration to exempt political appointees from certain restrictions,……
Of course, the revolving door in the Biden administration goes both ways. Last year, TikTok plucked Jamal Brown, Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign press secretary and deputy Pentagon spokesman, to work in its communications shop.…

Beyond the people TikTok pays to like it like Brown, it’s found an ally in #NY16's @RepBowman, who says the push to ban the app is rooted in “xenophobia around China” and is “part of another Red Scare.”

Obviously this makes him a useful idiot…

This is exactly the line of attack against TikTok’s foes that the CCP itself has been pushing, as @RobLockwood pointed out in Fox News.…

#NY16's @JamaalBowmanNY has TikTok accounts for both his government and campaign purposes. The @DemSocialists’s favorite congressman rallied with TikTokers who have been recruited as part of a last-ditch effort by the company to muster support.…

#NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY's status as TikTok’s lone warrior is notable in part because so many of his fellow Democrats in Congress use the app, but they have been remarkably quiet in recent weeks.…

I've written in the past that @tiktok_us and Chinese Communists have plenty of useful idiots in Congress, like #NC14's @JeffJacksonNC--the TikTok influencer Jackson has been remarkably silent about a possible ban on his favorite app

#NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY's TikTok pep rally isn’t exactly intimidating his colleagues.

#NE01 @USRepMikeFlood, who’s been pushing for TikTok bans on the state and federal levels tells me that “it should be no surprise that the CCP’s favorite data harvesting……
Despite a growing chorus of Democrats voicing concerns about TikTok, #NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY said, “I think the more we learn, the more you’ll see people stand up and defend TikTok.”

He definitely hasn’t convinced Republicans; one staffer on the Energy and……
During his rally, #NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY said that the reason that Republicans want to ban TikTok is because they “ain’t got no swag.”…

If it went that route, the US wouldn’t be the first country to ban TikTok. India, once home to the app’s largest customer base, successfully prohibited it in 2020. But Forbes is now reporting that despite the ban, “troves of personal data of Indian……
Even states in America that have banned TikTok on government devices still had trackers present on their state government websites as recently as last month, the Wall Street Journal reported.…

Per the Journal, “a review of the websites of more than 3,500 companies, organizations and government entities by the Toronto-based company Feroot Security found that so-called tracking pixels from the TikTok parent company were present in thirty US……
Times have been tough for TikTok in recent weeks; even the Biden administration is criticizing the company, just a few months after it welcomed TikTok influencers onto the White House grounds (from which the app is banned).…

However, the Republicans on @HouseCommerce have been laying this trap for several months. Back in January, that committee’s chair, #WA05 @cathymcmorris, announced that Chew will be testifying for the first time about “TikTok’s consumer privacy and data……
Heading into the hearing, the committee’s Republicans are more interested in figuring out the practical ways to ban TikTok than they are in hearing Chew tell them that a ban would harm the US economy.…

#NDAL @RepArmstrongND told me that he’s already looking towards the mechanics of how to implement a TikTok ban, which he’s previously told me he supports. North Dakota’s at-large congressman is weighing up the pros and cons of “an oversight board for a……
It’s not just Republicans on the House side who are concerned about TikTok. #MOSEN @Eric_Schmitt described the app to me as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”…

I’m told to expect some fireworks during the hearing. As for Chew’s remarks? They’re unlikely to find too receptive an audience at this juncture, according to #NE01 @USRepMikeFlood.…

“There’s a building bipartisan consensus that we need a total TikTok ban in the United States and we need it now — for the good of our children and the future of our country," #NE01 @USRepMikeFlood told me.…

NOW, let's get to the ongoing hearing!

Will live tweet a bunch of interesting things here…


Chinese spyware @tiktok_us's chief lobbyist couldn’t bring himself to admit that Beijing is committing genocide

Would love for someone to ask its mouthpiece about this today

Notice that @tiktok_us's CEO keeps saying "Chinese government," and refuses to even say the words "Chinese Communist Party"…

Chew: ByteDance is not controlled by communist party, says TikTok is not available in mainland China like that’s a good thing…

CEO says “TikTok is a place of freedom of expression”

#WA05's @cathymcmorris: “I will remind you that making false or misleading statements to congress is a federal crime”…

Chew: I disagree with the characterization that TikTok spied on American journalists

#NJ06 @FrankPallone: Project Texas “is simply not acceptable,” “I don’t buy it” regarding his attempts to seem like he’s doing a public service…

Chew: basically admits ByteDance prepared him, and said he thinks that his lawyers are also ByteDance lawyers

#CA16 @RepAnnaEshoo: “I find that actually preposterous” that Chew claims China has no access to data

Eshoo: I don’t believe there is a……
#OH05 @boblatta: “Unlike the Chinese Communist Party, the United States leads the way” on freedom and economic expansion

#NC09 @RepRichHudson: As Fort Bragg’s congressman, I’m concerned about how TikTok could be used to even blackmail troops and monitor……
#MN02’s @RepAngieCraig watches as #FL03’s @RepKatCammack shows a video from @tiktok_us of a user promising to murder people on @HouseCommerce

The video is still active…

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#CO04 @RepKenBuck notes that based on TikTok CEO’s own testimony that ByteDance almost certainly prepped him for his testimony today

That is yet another direct link to the Chinese Communist Party…

#SDSEN @SenJohnThune and #VASEN @MarkWarner team up with this bipartisan oped on tackling threats that go well beyond just Chinese spyware @tiktok_us…

Crazy admission from @tiktok_us CEO that @LeighWolf points out below ⬇️

Very important admission forced by #TX26’s @michaelcburgess—China is in the room with us right now

There is clearly a massive bipartisan consensus on @EnergyCommerce @HouseCommerce that @tiktok_us is uniquely harmful to American national security/American mental health

So it begs the obvious question: what the hell is Joe Biden afraid of? Who is he……
#OH06 @RepBillJohnson grills TikTok CEO: “You’ve been evasive in many of your answers,” “TikTok source code is riddled with back doors and CCP censorship devices.”

"Do you realize that making false and misleading statements to……
Important video from #FLSEN @marcorubio:

"TikTok is controlled by the Chinese government"

Paraphrasing an important point from #KY02's @RepGuthrie: You hosted a video on TikTok calling for death threats to our committee’s chairwoman, I am sure that content calling for the death of Xi Jinping wouldn’t be allowed in China

It's exciting as an American to see Republicans and Democrats team up to take on the Chinese Communist Party--this is the point that #SDSEN @SenJohnThune and #VASEN @MarkWarner are making here

Banning TikTok is not enough

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It pays to be a lobbyist for the Chinese Communist Party it seems

#NY20 @RepPaulTonko: “I’m concerned that TikTok’s algorithm preys on vulnerable people.”…

#MI05 @RepWalberg: China will oppose any forced sale or divestiture of TikTok; this is based on comments from the Ministry of Commerce--asks Chew if he agrees with the CCP on this. "It's hard for us to believe what you're saying."

Chew: “I cannot speak on……
#IA01 @RepMMM: "TikTok is gathering personal data and sharing it with our adversaries. We can’t allow this app—or any future app—to spy on users and stockpile sensitive personal information."


@DefendingEd found:

📊68% of parents are not comfortable allowing their kid to use TikTok without adult supervision, including 73% of parents aged 18-34.

📊Over two-thirds of parents are aware of the Chinese Government’s access to user data……
#WA05's @cathymcmorris: “Unfortunately we only have four and a half hours with you.”…

VERY important line of questioning from #GA01 @RepBuddyCarter:

CARTER: “Welcome to the most bipartisan committee in Congress. We may not always agree on how to get there,” but we care about national security, economy, and our children. There are deadly……
With tech “reporters” like these, why is Chinese spyware @tiktok_us even spending over $10 million on lobbyists?

NEW: cops have arrested someone, I’m told

Unclear if it’s TikTok related or about something else

REMINDER: @politico, @washingtonpost, @PunchbowlNews, @axios, and more have all taken untold thousands of dollars from @tiktok_us in the run up to this hearing

The CCP mouthpiece turns to get words of encouragement from people who I assume are paid @tiktok_us users seated behind him

We’re on to round 2 of this @HouseCommerce hearing now. Follow along!…

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#TX22 @RepTroyNehls floats the idea of AmeriTok to be pushed in China that pushes individual rights, gun ownership, “responsible premium cigar smoking” “You think they would go for that? … Absolutely not … Then why in the hell do we allow to happen here?”

Goes to…
#CA29 @RepCardenas is DESTROYING TikTok CEO right now.

CARDENAS: TikTok is much worse than just an app where people do silly little dances. “You have been one of the few people to unite this committee.” “We are frustrated with TikTok.” “Good dancer with……
This hearing is a DISASTER for Chinese spyware @tiktok_us:

#MI05 @RepWalberg: "Trying to deflect from what is currently happening does not help earn trust. Surveillance of American journalists does not earn trust either. TikTok is a national security……
#MI06 @RepDebDingell: “Legitimate concerns” about protecting children online, they are bipartisan.

“I’m sure there’s a yes there,” she says after Chew muddies through an obvious answer to one of her questions…

#NY16's @JamaalBowmanNY decided to stick his neck out for the Chinese Communist Party right before @HouseDemocrats left him in the lurch

Maybe this is a lesson Americans can learn: do not simp for the CCP…

Live look at #NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY when he realizes that he's completely on his own in defending Chinese spyware TikTok and that even Democrats won't join him in simping for our adversaries…

#NCSEN @SenThomTillis is going after Democrats like CCP simp #NC14 @RepJeffJackson for using spyware and being horrible examples to American children

LET'S GO! #AL06 @USRepGaryPalmer

"Personnel is policy. Everyone in this room understands that. Except maybe you." So, why did TikTok's lobbyist who you know is sitting right behind you refuse to condemn China's genocide on @jaketapper's show.

#TX33 @RepVeasey: A lot of what you’ve said today “disturbs me.” “A lot of us are worried about our kids’ personal data.” “You know that voting twice is a felony,” yet TikTok approved ads that pushed for that.…

CRAZY exchange between #FL02's @DrNealDunnFL2 and Chew:

DUNN: “Has ByteDance spied on Americans at the direction of the Chinese Communist Party.”

CHEW: “No”

*Dunn enters Forbes article into the record on TikTok spying into the record*

DUNN: “I ask you……
CFIUS update from mid-TikTok hearing

#FL02 @DrNealDunnFL2: “Like fentanyl, another Chinese export” which causes death, TikTok is “definitely not good for the United States.”

DUNN: “We don’t find you credible on these things.”…

REMINDER for all the times today that @tiktok_us CEO says China has no influence over its spyware TikTok

#DEAL @RepLBR: “I have not been reassured by anything you have said so far.” “Your testimony has raised more questions” than answers for me.…

#DEAL @RepLBR: We came here hoping to be reassured. “What I leave here with” knowing that “engineers in China have access to personal data of 13 year olds in the United States.” This is why there is bipartisan concern, “and I imagine that is not……
#AZ08 @RepDLesko grills Chew on Uyghur genocide. He says he is here to talk about TikTok.

LESKO: “Do you agree that the Chinese government has persecuted the Uyghur population?”

CHEW: If you open the app…

LESKO: “I think you’re being evasive. It’s a……
NEW: Communist China's mouthpiece, @globaltimesnews, is one of #NY16 @JamaalBowmanNY's only allies…

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#FL09 @RepDarrenSoto: “The genie is out of the bottle.” “There’s a darker side to this.” “TikTok needs to be an American company with American values.”…

INSANE admission forced by #FL09 @RepDarrenSoto: TikTok does NOT think its CCP ownership is a problem.

SOTO: “Would TikTok be prepared to divest from ByteDance” and the Chinese Communist Party?

CHEW: “I don’t think ownership is the issue here”…

#IN06 @RepGregPence: “I think that’s the only way to get your attention, to talk about the money you’re making” based on harvesting data of American kids. “What am I getting?” My constituents poured criticism of TikTok into my office. “I think you’re all……
#PA13's @RepJohnJoyce: Would you allow your children to use TikTok?

Chew: Yes

Joyce: “TikTok as a company cannot be trusted.” “TikTok is the spy in American pockets.” “We have not heard a commitment to be able to protect the personal privacy that……
#NDAL @RepArmstrongND is going hard in the paint against TikTok's CEO:

“You have absolutely tied yourself in knots” to avoid criticizing the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs. “If the CCP demanded that ByteDance hand over all information,” what would happen?……
#TX14 @TXRandy14: “It’s no secret to us that TikTok is still under the thumb of the CCP,” TikTok is threatening our national security while brainwashing our children

"Should we plan to have a committee hearing" every time violent……
#TX14 @TXRandy14:

"We prefer to keep [Americans' data private," just like how you prefer to keep your stock information private."

"If this committee has its way, TikTok's time is up."…

#CA25 @RepRaulRuizMD is running out of patience with TikTok's Chew:

"I'm concerned that TikTok's features make users uniquely vulnerable" to misinformation.

"You're on my time. Answer my question."

"Your efforts have failed and they are dangerous."……
In response to #TX07's @RepFletcher, @tiktok_us CEO gives the game away:

"I report to the CEO of ByteDance"

#ID01 @RepRussFulcher: “This may be genius, but it doesn’t make it fair.” “TikTok poses as Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, but it acts like Big Brother. And it has to stop.”…

#VA09 @RepMGriffith: “Is [TikTok] part of the Chinese Communist Party, or are you part of some mystical world?”

Chew: “I disagree.”


#MN02 @RepAngieCraig: “What you’re saying about Project Texas just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

“China won’t even carry your product. How is it that you can convince us that our privacy is not at risk? And more than that, that our kids’……
#GA12's @RepRickAllen making the great point that banning TikTok is NOT ENOUGH.

Top apps in the App Store, like CapCut, are directly controlled by China: “You’re not doing enough.” “TikTok, CapCut…are all controlled by ByteDance.”…

#TX11 @RepPfluger: “You’ve actually done something which hasn’t been done in the last 3 or 4 years, which the exception of Vladimir Putin.”

PFLUGER: “Is TikTok a platform for good?”


PFLUGER: “Do you personally support the First Amendment?”……
#TX11 @RepPfluger makes Chew concede that it is possible for the CCP to “manipulate content that is being seen by 150 million Americans.”


#TX11 @RepPfluger goes off on @tiktok_us CEO:

"Please rename your project. Texas stands for freedom and we don’t want your project."…

#IA01 @RepMMM: “In a bipartisan way, we have concerns and those concerns are valid. Does TikTok track users’ individual keystrokes?”

Chew: “Only for security purposes.”

MMM: “Does TikTok keep track of users’ credit cards and passwords?”

Chew: I don’t……
#VA09 @RepMGriffith: “Do you share legal counsel with ByteDance, yes or no?”

CHEW: “Yes”

GRIFFITH: “Do you own shares in ByteDance, sir?”

CHEW: “Yes”

GRIFFITH: Do you own shares in TikTok?


GRIFFITH: I assumed that, but I don’t understand……
#VA09 @RepMGriffith: "Whatever it is you think you're doing, it ain't getting done."

GRIFFITH: "You're looking into it, you're looking into it. You're looking into it all the time."…


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🚨 Hunter Biden and his legal team are admitting the laptop is his and is real

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And ABC News is down for whatever Hunter wants 🤮…

ABC News has…never seen Hunter Biden’s laptop?! And it’s openly admitting that!

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NEW from me @TheSpectator:

Almost everyone wants to ban @tiktok_us at this point, but what does that mean?

This will be bad news for TikTok influencers like #MIGOV @gretchenwhitmer, @livvydunne, @katiesigmondd, and more--but what does it mean?…

“Whoever controls big data technologies will control the resources for development and have the upper hand,” Xi Jinping declared shortly after assuming control of China.…

In the years since, the Chinese surveillance state has exploded at home and abroad, thanks to espionage-adjacent apps such as WeChat, but none has raised as much ire as TikTok.…

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Up first, @micsolana's take:

"It happened slowly, then all at once: a mature internet, in which a majority of Americans lived in some significant part online, reshaped our country in accordance with the malleable laws of the digital world...…

...Some call this the “attention economy.” I call it the Clown World. In the context of democracy, the game is fundamentally changed, and the men and women who understand this are the most formidable voices in politics...…

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