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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Sunday appeared on CNN's "Reliable Sources," and took issue with past statements from Facebook officials, suggesting the company welcomed new oversight.

Why it matters: Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protections, made his remarks amid a broader discussion on government regulation of the tech industry and new revelations about Facebook's internal practices.

Driving the news: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen earlier this month provided lawmakers, including Blumenthal, rare insight into some of the company's internal practices.

  • Afterward, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his own platform to push back against Haugen's testimony, suggesting the company welcomed oversight and "advocated for updated internet regulations for several years now."
  • But Blumenthal told "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter on Sunday that he's not convinced.
  • “What we are hearing from Facebook is platitudes and bromides," the Connecticut Democrat said. "When it says it wants regulation, at the same time it is fighting that regulation tooth and nail, day and night, with armies of lawyers, millions of dollars in lobbying."
  • "I must say," he added, "Facebook saying it wants regulation is the height of disingenuousness."

Catch up quick: At the Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing earlier this month, which Blumenthal chaired, Haugen urged the creation of a new federal oversight body to regulate tech firms, write Scott Rosenberg and Margaret Harding McGill.

  • Lawmakers also discussed the need for online privacy legislation, greater protection for children online, and improving transparency into how Facebook's algorithms work.

Blumenthal has said he wants Zuckerberg to appear before Congress and answer questions in response to what Haugen shared, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill writes.

  • "I wish Mark Zuckerberg would stand up to his responsibility. You know, he controls that company in a way few other single individuals do in corporate America, and he should be held accountable," the senator said on Sunday.

Go deeper

Jul 27, 2020 - Technology

Big Tech's power, in 4 numbers

Data: FactSet; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The four Big Tech CEOs who will testify before Congress Wednesday command global empires with power and wealth that make them more like countries than companies.

By the numbers: Here are four very large stats for Facebook, Apple, Google/Alphabet and Amazon that tell the story of their value, scale and influence.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.