Wyden says he’s ‘not in favor’ of Mnuchin purchasing TikTok as bill gains momentum

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Thursday that he is “not in favor” of former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joining the effort to buy TikTok, adding that his bill would require TikTok’s parent company to sell it. If not, he said, he would be required to face U.S. prohibited interests. New momentum.

“I like some of the ideas around things like selling to American companies,” Wyden told Semaphore’s World Economic Summit.

But he added, “I’m not in favor of Steve Mnuchin being a part of it because of his classified status and his relationship with hostile countries, especially Arab countries.”

Mnuchin said last month that he was forming a group to buy TikTok shortly after the House passed a bill that would require TikTok’s China-based parent company ByteDance to sell within about six months. service.

But Mr. Wyden has previously expressed concerns about Mr. Mnuchin’s ties to Saudi Arabia through his investment fund.

According to a report from new york times In 2022, Liberty Strategic Capital, the former Treasury Secretary’s fund, secured a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and $500 million from Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar. .

“I don’t know how America would be any safer if the next owner of TikTok was a MAGA Trump cronies backed by a Saudi sovereign wealth fund,” Wyden said last month.

“I’m absolutely concerned about the Chinese government having access to Americans’ personal information,” he added. “But all the concerns being expressed about Chinese influence apply equally to the Saudi government that killed a Washington Post reporter after putting spyware on his wife’s cell phone.”

Wyden’s latest comments on a possible sale of TikTok came after Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) announced her support for the bill on Wednesday. Cantwell’s support was key to clearing the bill’s path through the Senate, but she supported it after it was updated to extend the sale period.

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