Pompeo warns of potential restriction of TikTok app
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday the Trump administration is considering restricting United States' users' access to the Chinese social media application TikTok over concerns it is potentially being used by the Beijing government as a means to surveil and propagandize people.
Pompeo told "The Ingraham Angle" that he and President Trump are taking the reports seriously after host Laura Ingraham said India had already banned the app and Australia is considering doing so.
"We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time, whether its the problem of having Huawei technology in your infrastructure -- we've gone all over the world and we are making real progress getting that out -- we had declared ZTE a danger to American national security," said Pompeo.
"With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too," he said, adding that he did not want to dive into specifics and potentially "get ahead" of any presidential announcement.
"But, it is something we are looking at," he said, going on to warn Americans that they should be cautious in using TikTok, lest they want their private information "in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
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Pompeo also responded to former Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice, after the potential 2020 Democratic vice-presidential candidate slammed him for appearing to be one of what she called "sycophants and weaklings" who purportedly refuses to properly advise Trump.
Rice made the remarks after a story surfaced regarding Russia allegedly offering bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. Ingraham called the story itself "murky" and played a clip of Rice for Pompeo.
"This is not the time to be handing Putin an olive branch. We have a president who is doing our arch-adversaries bidding it would seem, and he is surrounded by sycophants and weaklings who aren't doing their jobs, who don't have the confidence in themselves and in the mission that they are there to carry out -- to bring the president the tough messages he needs to hear," said Rice, who some political observers see as a potential running mate for Joe Biden.
Pompeo said it was shocking to hear Rice speak that way.
"She has a history of going on Sunday shows and lying. You'll remember in 2012, she went on five Sunday shows [after] Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods had all perished under her administration's watch in Benghazi, Libya, she made up a story about a video and a protest when she knew full well this was a terror attack," he said.
"She did so because it was politically convenient to say that -- and it's the worst kind of behavior from a national security leader and as for her comments about Russia, it was on the Obama watch, under the Susan Rice watch, under Vice President Biden's watch that Ukraine had one-fifth of its real estate taken by Vladimir Putin with virtually no response."
Pompeo was referring to the Kremlin's 2014 annexation of Crimea, a part of Ukraine that borders Russia but was once part of the former Soviet Union.
"It was under her watch that Syria was handed over to the Russians as a result of a 'red line' that Obama had drawn in the sand within refused to enforce."
He added that, when it comes to defending and honoring American troops, Trump is far and away the better leader compared to Rice, Biden and President Obama.
"It was her administration that was underwriting the Iranian regime while it was killing American soldiers in the Middle East. That was an administration the didn't care about our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines and certainly didn't act in a way that was securing America's national interest," he said.