The news was reported by NBC reporter Josh Lederman, who says he was on board Air Force One when Trump made the announcement. In a tweet, Lederman informed, “BREAKING: Trump tells reporters aboard Air Force One he is banning TikTok.” In a follow-up, he added, “We are still in the air on Air Force One, landing shortly. Trump came back to speak with us off the record and agreed to move the portion about TikTok on the record.” Steve Herman, the White House bureau chief of VOA News, tweeted that Trump said he could ban the app from running within the United States “with an executive order or that.” NBC reported that Trump intended to act as soon as Saturday, the following day.
Seung Min Kim, a White House reporter for The Washington Post, quotes Trump saying, “As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States.”
Reports Friday Claimed the Trump Administration Wanted ByteDance to ‘Divest its Ownership’ of TikTok in the US
On Fridays, hours before Trump made his statement about banning the app in the US entirely, Business Insider reported that the Trump administration had ordered ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, to sell the phone application’s operations in the United States. ABC News reports that, from the White House, Trump told reporters “We are looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There a couple of options, but a lot of things are happening. So we’ll see what happens.”
In a subsequent tweet, Steve Herman said that Trump’s statements aboard Air Force One “made clear he’s not in favor of a deal to let a US company buy [TikTok] operations.”
US TikTok Users Reacted tp the Possible End of the App on Social Media
Days before Trump announced his plans to use an executive order to ban TikTok, his administration hinted that they were looking into restricting the use of TikTok in the US. According to Independent, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned earlier in the week, “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too… I don’t want to get out in front of the President [Donald Trump], but it’s something we’re looking at.”
As news spread that Americans’ days on the app could be coming to an end, some users who’d gained massive followings on the app began to post videos reflecting on what it would mean to lose the TikTok community and ability to express themselves on the app. For fear that the app would suddenly disappear, many directed their fans to alternative ways of connecting with them on social media, promising to continue to post content on applications such as Instagram.
According to ABC News, TikTok responded to Trump’s alleged plans to ban the app within the United States with a statement, saying, “While we do not comment on rumors or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok.”