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Palmer calls out TikTok CEO, lobbyist at hearing

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) blasted TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and his top American lobbyist Michael Beckerman during Thursday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.

The hearing comes after the Biden administration has demanded the platform’s Chinese owners sell their stakes or possibly face a ban in the U.S.

Many in Congress believe TikTok is being used by the Chinese Communist Party as a surveillance weapon against American citizens. Some are also concerned about the app’s damaging effects on young minds.

During Chew’s testimony, Palmer accused the company of being unwilling to condemn the Chinese government over the Uyghur genocide.

“I want to know why when Mr. Beckerman was on with Jake Tapper on CNN and asked repeatedly to condemn (the) Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs,” Palmer said, “when that treatment has been classified by the United States as a genocide, when a UN report classifies it as a crime against humanity, why after multiple questions Mr. Beckerman refused to address that.”

The congressman then asked the TikTok CEO if he’s scared to say the truth about the Chinese government.

“Are you afraid of the Chinese communist government?” he said. “But why couldn’t the vice president of public policy, the guy who’s head of public policy for the Americans, on an American television news channel, why couldn’t he say something? Why couldn’t he condemn that?”

Palmer said the actions by certain personnel with the company reflect poorly on the company itself.

“Personnel is policy,” he said. “Everyone in this room understands that. Except maybe you.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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