Top Democrat rips Mnuchin over effort to buy TikTok

Skip to content


Top Democrat rips Mnuchin over effort to buy TikTok

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Greg Nash

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks to reporters as he arrives to the Capitol for a vote Thursday, January 11, 2024.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is criticizing former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over his effort to buy the social media platform TikTok. 

“I don’t see how America will be any more secure if the next owner of TikTok is a MAGA Trump crony backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund,” Wyden told Semafor in an article published Tuesday.

“I’m absolutely concerned about the Chinese government’s access to Americans’ personal data,” Wyden continued. “But every concern that has been voiced about Chinese influence is equally valid when it comes to a Saudi government that murdered a Washington Post journalist after planting spyware on his wife’s phone.”

Mnuchin, who served as former President Trump’s Treasury secretary, said last Thursday he is putting together a group to buy TikTok following the House passing a bill that would ban the platform in the U.S. if its parent company, based in China, does not divest from it.

“I think the legislation should pass, and I think it should be sold,” Mnuchin said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“It’s a great business, and I’m going to put together a group to buy TikTok,” he added.

Multiple outlets have reported that Mnuchin’s private equity fund, Liberty Strategic Capital, has investors including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. 

Mnuchin’s comments in favor of the legislation banning TikTok clash with those of his former boss, former President Trump, who is opposed to it and has argued it would help Facebook and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump said in a post to Truth Social earlier this month. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

In an emailed statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for Liberty Strategic Capital said “[a]s Secretary Mnuchin said on CNBC last week, TikTok should be controlled by US investors and no single investor should own more than 10%.”

Updated at 3:31 pm.




Donald Trump

Mark Zuckerberg

Ron Wyden

Steven Mnuchin


TikTok ban

Trump administration

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.