‘Republicans Ain’t Got No Swag’: Dem Congressman Goes to Bat for TikTok Despite Bipartisan Concerns


Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) blasted congressional Republicans for their support of a national TikTok ban on Wednesday, mischaracterizing bipartisan national security concerns and attributing interest in the ban to the GOP’s lack of ‘swag.’

“I just realized something,” began Bowman at a press conference held on Capitol Hill in support of the social media platform. “Republicans ain’t got no swag, that’s why they want to ban TikTok. Republicans ain’t got no swag, that’s the problem. And I mention that in the context of engaging young people in the Democratic process.”

“The First Amendment gives us the right to speak freely, and to communicate freely and TikTok as a platform has created a community and a space for free speech for 150 million Americans and counting,” he continued. In addition to a lack of swagger, Bowman attributed the effort to push TikTok out of the U.S. market to xenophobia.

“Why the hysteria and the panic and the targeting of TikTok?” asked Bowman before answering his own question. “As we know, Republicans in particular, have been sounding the alarm, creating the red scare around China,” he said before positing that Congress should “not be racist towards China and express our xenophobia when it comes to TikTok.”

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden reportedly presented TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance with an ultimatum, urging it to sell TikTok or risk a national ban. His administration has already banned the app from federal devices, and over half of U.S. states have imposed similar regulations.

Concerns over the app stem from its collection of user data, legal requirement to hand that data over to the Chinese government on demand, and its admitted effort to track journalists critical of it.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a March 8 hearing that TikTok “is a tool that is ultimately within the control of the Chinese government – and it, to me, it screams out with national security concerns.”


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