‘Unacceptable’: House China Committee Chairman Slams Biden Campaign for Joining TikTok

Rep. Mike Gallagher
Former representative Mike Gallagher (Getty Images)
February 13, 2024

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, slammed President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign for launching a TikTok account over the weekend.

"If we continue to go down this road, we are going to effectively cede control of our news media to a hostile foreign country," Gallagher said during a Tuesday interview on Fox News, referring to longstanding concerns in the United States that the CCP might be accessing and exploiting American users' Internet data.

Biden’s team released its first video under the username @bidenhq on TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform, during the Super Bowl on Sunday. Biden has signed legislation banning the use of TikTok on all federal government devices since late 2022 due to national security concerns. 

"So here you have Biden’s handpicked advisers telling him that this is effectively a CCP tool or weapon and yet he’s ignoring that," Gallagher said. "Why? To court the votes of anti-Semitic 18-year-olds, to get progressive clicks in a campaign season."

"That’s unacceptable," the Wisconsin Republican added. "I urge the president’s, you know, Gen Z TikTok adult campaign staffers to reverse course in the interest of national security."

Gallagher also cited India’s decision in June 2020 to ban TikTok, noting that "it wasn’t the apocalypse inside of India" after the ban. "They have a flourishing tech and social media ecosystem [in India]," he said. "And I think we must do the same, either a ban or a ... sale or separation makes the most sense."

Gallagher’s remarks came a day after Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the president’s embrace of TikTok could be sending a "mixed message." The Virginia Democrat warned, "I think at the end of the day, the Chinese Communist Party ­can not only get access to the data, but also, more importantly, can potentially drive the algorithms in terms of what you’re seeing."