FBI Director Chris Wray testifies Chinese-owned TikTok has power to ‘drive narratives,’ ‘divide Americans’

Wray warns Senate intelligence committee TikTok ‘screams out with national security concerns’

By Danielle Wallace FOXBusiness

FBI director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 8, 2023, regarding global threats  (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades / AP Newsroom)

FBI Director Chris Wray was grilled before the Senate Intelligence Committee “worldwide threats” hearing Wednesday regarding TikTok, affirming that the Chinese-owned social media platform wields the power to “drive narratives” and “divide Americans against each other.”

In a line of questioning from Sen. Marco Rubio, the lead Republican on the committee, Wray said the American people must understand “something that’s very sacred in our country – the difference, the private sector and the public sector, that’s a line that is nonexistent in the way the CCP operates.”

“Do you think it’s valuable to look at how TikTok operates in China versus the U.S.? For example, in the U.S., kids are being encouraged to choke themselves. We’ve had kids die. In China, they’re encouraged to focus on math and science and building the country,” Rubio asked. “Is that an example of how two different versions of TikTok – one feeding, you know, our society poison and the other inculcating positive values – an example of how potentially or in reality TikTok could be used to damage our country?”

“I think those are among many truth telling indicators that we should be looking at and assessing the national security concerns this poses,” Wray responded. Rubio continued, “they can collect our data, manipulate information, poison the minds and feed garbage into the minds of millions of people.”

“If TikTok is bad for America and we’ve talked about all of these disadvantages and potential harm that’s caused by it, should the fact that it is popular among people under the age of 35 be the reason why we don’t take strong action against it?” Rubio contended. “This is a substantial national security threat for the country of a kind that we didn’t face in the past… I would imagine that it is probably one of the most valuable surveillance tools on the planet.”

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