Pro-Trump PAC Joins TikTok Amid Fight Over Its Chinese Ownership

The main political action committee backing former President Donald J. Trump joined TikTok on Wednesday, jumping onto the popular social media platform while it is at the center of a political battle over its ownership by a Chinese corporation, ByteDance.

The super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., is independent of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, but the move to TikTok — using the handle @MAGA — signals a shift in strategy nearly three months after President Biden’s re-election campaign joined the social media platform.

“There’s millions of voters on TikTok, and @MAGA will deliver President Donald J. Trump’s pro-freedom, pro-America agenda every day with the facts and stories that matter,” Taylor Budowich, the chief executive of the PAC, said in a statement. “We aren’t trying to set policy, we are trying to win an election.”

The TikTok account, which had about 300 followers as of Wednesday evening, has posted five videos so far, four attacking Mr. Biden and one attacking Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent presidential candidate, as a “radical leftist.”

Mr. Biden signed a law in April that would force a sale of TikTok by ByteDance, which sued the federal government on Tuesday in an effort to block the law. Under the terms of the law, ByteDance has about nine months to sell the app or it will be banned in the United States. The president can extend that time frame to a year.

Mr. Trump had also tried to ban the app during his term, ordering ByteDance in August 2020 to divest the app. A federal judge blocked the attempted ban the next month, and Mr. Trump left office a few months later.

But when House Republicans moved to force the sale of the app via legislation, Mr. Trump came out against the bill, saying that ByteDance’s ownership was still a national security threat but that a potential ban would anger young Americans.

“Frankly, there are a lot of people on TikTok that love it,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on CNBC. “There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it.”

Mr. Trump himself is not on TikTok — preferring to use his own social media site, Truth Social — and neither is his campaign. With TikTok still operating in the United States, for now, and with Mr. Biden’s campaign using the app, Mr. Budowich said that Mr. Trump’s message should be “brought to every corner of the internet.”

“We will not cede any platform to Joe Biden and the Democrats,” he said.

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