Trump seeks to pry ‘young’ voters from Biden over TikTok ban brewing in Congress

Former President Donald Trump is attempting to tie brewing legislation potentially banning TikTok to President Joe Biden as he courts young voters.

The House advanced legislation Saturday included in the foreign aid bills, forcing the sale of TikTok from its Chinese owners within a year to avoid a ban in the United States. The Senate is widely expected to pass the legislation this week, and Biden will likely sign it into law. Trump posted on Truth Social on Monday that Biden is “responsible for banning TikTok” and that “young people,” among others, “must remember this” on Election Day in November.

“Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok. He is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant, and able to continue to fight, perhaps illegally, the Republican Party,” the former president wrote in a post.

“Young people, and lots of others, must remember this on November 5th, ELECTION DAY, when they vote! They also must remember, more importantly, that he is destroying our Country, and is A MAJOR THREAT TO DEMOCRACY!” he added.

Biden previously said he would sign a similar bill, which would have forced ByteDance to sell TikTok within six months or face a ban, while Trump has reversed his stance from 2020 when, while in the White House, he urged a ban on TikTok over its ties to China.

The White House, in response to Trump’s comments, denied that it was working to ban TikTok. “We’ve been clear: we do not want to ban apps like TikTok,” White House spokeswoman Robyn Patterson said in a statement.

“What we want — and what the legislation we support would do — is ensure that TikTok becomes owned by an American company so that our and our children’s sensitive personal data stays here instead of going to China and so that Americans’ understandings and views can’t be manipulated by algorithms potentially controlled by the [People’s Republic of China],” she added.

A CNBC poll conducted last month showed that while 31% of registered voters overall oppose a ban on the Chinese-owned social media platform, the number opposed to a ban soars when singling out younger voters. Roughly half, 48%, of those ages 18-34 who were surveyed said they opposed a ban on TikTok.

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Trump has made a play for younger voters as he seeks a second term in the White House, with his TikTok message being the latest example.

Recent polls have shown Biden leading Trump among young voters but by smaller margins than he did in 2020. Democrats traditionally trounce Republicans with younger voters, but the former president has performed strongly in most surveys for this election cycle.

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