Sen. Lindsey Graham says he warned President Donald Trump against a complete shutdown of the Chinese video app TikTok and encouraged him to back its sale to an American company after getting calls from three different people upset about a pending ban.
“If TikTok is saved, you can thank me," the South Carolina Republican told writer Pete Hanby in an interview for the Snapchat show "Good Luck America." "I get a call from Sean Hannity. His daughter's crying. They're going to do away with TikTok. I said, well get her a new watch. I don't follow TikTok."
Then "my niece calls me, tells me they're going to do away with TikTok," he continued, and "then Gen. David Petraeus calls me, says they're going to do away with TikTok." He added that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also called to say that Trump wanted the platform shut down, but 100 million Americas use it.
He said he then called Trump and told him that while worries about Communist China were valid, "if you shut down this site, you're going to get kicked in the a** by a bunch of young people...let Microsoft or somebody buy it, put it in American hands and allow the platform to survive and thrive because so many people enjoy it.”
The senator also said tech companies should monitor the conspiracists of QAnon the way they do radical Islamic terrorist groups and labeled them as "bats**t crazy."
"I think it is a platform that plays off people's fears, that compels them to do things they normally wouldn't do," he said. He said he's calling for removing Section 2030 liability, meaning that social media sites would "spread this stuff at your own peril."
Graham also slapped back at claims that Trump is a racist, even if he labeled him as one in 2015.
"You can be black as coal and if you like him, he likes you," said Graham. "You can be albino and if he doesn't like you, he doesn't like you. He's about him. If you like him, he probably likes you."
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