Oct 24, 2019

Bipartisan senators request national security investigation into TikTok

Chuck Schumer (left) and Tom Cotton (right). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday to determine whether TikTok, a Chinese social media app that has seen a massive spike in popularity among young people, poses any "national security risks," the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The app already has more than 110 million downloads in the United States alone, and could become a Chinese vacuum for coveted American data as tensions between the countries continue to escalate.

Details: In a letter sent to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, the senators questioned TikTok's data collection practices and whether the app adheres to censorship rules imposed by the Chinese government.

  • Schumer and Cotton believe the app could be a target for "foreign influence campaigns" like those carried out in the 2016 election.

The big picture: This is the second congressional request to investigate TikTok. Earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review a 2017 deal allowing TikTok to expand into the U.S. market.

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Protests for George Floyd continue for 10th day

Thousands of protesters march over the Brooklyn Bridge on June 4 in New York City. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: A man in Buffalo, New York bled out of one ear and lay motionless on the ground after police pushed him backward at a protest. He was later taken to the hospital and appeared to be alert, per a local reporter on the scene. Officers arrested five people during the protests in Niagara Square, a Buffalo Police Department statement noted.

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

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The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.