Photo: Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is asking staffers to delete TikTok from their phones and forbidding them from trading individual stocks without first getting approval from the campaign's general counsel, according to Bloomberg News.

Why it matters: Biden is seeking to draw a contrast with President Trump and members of his family and administration, whom Democrats have accused of profiting from his presidency.

  • "As we gear up to officially become the Democratic nominee, we took a moment to ensure that the policies of our campaign represent the highest ethical standards,” Bill Russo, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement.
  • The campaign is also acknowledging broader security concerns about TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app that has come under heightened scrutiny from lawmakers and businesses in recent weeks.

Driving the news: Biden's general counsel, Dana Remus, emailed campaign employees with the updated guidance, as some members of Congress have been forced to defend their rationale for stock trades that netted them hundreds of thousands of dollars during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) was forced to step down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee while the Department of Justice investigates stocks he sold before the broader market collapsed in February.
  • Burr has claimed that he traded stocks based on news reports, not insider information that he gleaned in his capacity as chairman of a committee that has access to classified information.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Technology

Trump agrees to TikTok deal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump on Saturday said he approved "in concept" a deal whereby TikTok will be allowed to continue operating in the U.S., with Oracle as its "trusted technology partner."

Why it matters: TikTok has nearly 100 million U.S. users, and is still growing fast. Trump has threatened to ban it, due to data privacy concerns related to TikTok's ownership by Chinese tech company.

The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

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