Bipartisan senators share TikTok concern following 'powerful' national security briefing

A bipartisan group of lawmakers left a national security briefing regarding TikTok on Wednesday with “deep concern” as the Senate waits to consider a House-passed bill to force the social media app to divest from China.

“We had a full hearing room in the classified briefing and there was deep concern about the threat from TikTok on both sides of the aisle,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas described.

“The threats that are posed are significant,” he stressed.

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Sens. Ted Cruz and Mark Warner reacted with concern following a national security briefing on TikTok. (Getty Images)

The briefing followed the House’s recent bipartisan passage of a bill that requires TikTok to either be sold to a non-Chinese company or see itself banned in the U.S.

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Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., remarked that it was “a very powerful briefing.” He also said he hopes to declassify much of the material senators were able to review.

“I think there was a reason why, when this brief was given on the House side to the Energy and Commerce Committee, afterwards they voted 50 to nothing to move the legislation forward,” he added.

Sen. Ted Cruz is seen during votes in the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 5, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

TikTok’s CEO Shou Chew has spent time in the last couple of weeks meeting with senators on Capitol Hill, urging them against supporting the measure. Warner told Fox News Digital last week he isn’t concerned about colleagues meeting with Chew, but said he wants senators to also receive the necessary national security briefings.

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“The reality is, we have that entity having that much personal data access to and that much potential to manipulate on a platform that a lot of young people look to as their number one news source. That’s a national security concern,” he said on Wednesday.

Chairman Mark Warner speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing at the Capitol, March 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

As for how quickly he expects the House’s bill to move through the Senate, Warner said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea.”

Cruz, the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said he urged Chairwoman Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., to move “expeditiously” in scheduling a mark-up for the TikTok legislation, emphasizing its importance.

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TikTok’s CEO Shou Chew has spent time in the last couple of weeks meeting with senators on Capitol Hill, urging them against supporting the measure. (iStock)

The bill was referred last week to the committee, rather than being expedited for a vote in the upper chamber.

Cruz explained his preference for the bill’s trajectory through the committee, saying, “The precise language of this bill is still very much open to discussion. I think members on both sides may have amendments, may have suggestions for how to alter the language.”

Cantwell’s Commerce Committee office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital regarding the status of mark-up scheduling.

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