Trump raised questions about plans by China's ByteDance to keep a majority stake in the U.S. operations of popular social media platform TikTok after six Republican lawmakers urged him to reject the proposal.
Trump said he would be briefed on Thursday about a proposal that calls for Oracle Corp to become a "trusted technology provider" for TikTok's U.S. operations, but he did not favor the idea of having the Chinese firm retain control.
Trump had previously threatened to ban the app unless its U.S. operations were sold to a U.S. company and the U.S. government received a share of the proceeds.
"Conceptually, I can tell you that I don't like that," Trump told a news conference when asked about a reported proposal to give Oracle only a minority share. "I'm not prepared to sign off on anything. They're going to be reporting to me tomorrow morning and I'll let you know."
Trump also said he was told there was no legal path to ensure money from the TikTok deal goes to the U.S. government.
DONALD TRUMP: You have Johnson and Johnson, you have Pfizer, you have Moderna, you have others.
- Does the deal meets your requirements in terms of national security concerns?
DONALD TRUMP: OK. They're giving me studies on the deal. Has to be 100% as far as national security is concerned. And no, I'm not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal. We need security, especially after what we've seen with respect to China and what's going on. We want security.
So I'll let you know. They're going to be reporting to me tomorrow morning.
Amazingly, I find that you're not allowed to do that. You're not allowed to accept money. So what kind of a government-- what kind of a thing is this? If they're willing to make big payments to the government, they're not allowed, because there's no-- there's no way of doing that from a-- there's no legal path to doing that. And I'm saying, wait a minute, they're willing to make a big payment to the government, and we're not allowed to take the money?
We're looking into that from the standpoint of ByteDance. We don't like that. I mean, just conceptually I can tell you I don't like that. That has not been told to me yet. That has been reported, but hasn't been told to me. It could be very accurate reporting for a change.