Scaramucci: Trump’s embrace of TikTok shows ‘how transactional he is’

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Scaramucci: Trump’s embrace of TikTok shows ‘how transactional he is’

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci weighed in on former President Trump’s decision to join TikTok, saying Friday that the move shows just “how transactional” his former boss can be.

Scaramucci, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, talked about how Trump seemed to flip on the issue — after spending much of his time while in office trying to ban the app. He told the host that he does not understand how the former president gets a “free pass” to change his position on an issue, while other politicians get more scrutiny. 

“Because John Kerry was for the war before he was against it. Hillary Clinton, they called her a flip-flopper. Donald Trump was negative on Bitcoin and crypto. Tweeted about it as president. Now all of a sudden, he’s positive about it,” the conservative pundit said, adding that Trump was “negative on TikTok, was going to ban it. Now he’s positive about it.” 

“I don’t understand how these people don’t realize how transactional he is,” he continued. “And at the spur of the moment, if it serves his personal interests, forget about the country. It’s got to serve his personal interest. He’ll flip on a dime.” 

Scaramucci’s comments come just days after Trump officially joined TikTok. The former president and his team posted a video of him with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White at a UFC title fight in New Jersey.

His debut on the platform was effective, surpassing President Biden’s campaign’s follower count in less than 24 hours. 

Scaramucci characterized Trump’s decision to join the platform as having “good political instincts,” but said the effort is “completely dishonest” and should be called out. 

“And so right now, the President has good political instincts, and he sees those two things as raising him money and potentially widening the birth of a younger demographic of voters,” he said Friday. “But it’s completely dishonest and I don’t understand why he’s not being called out on it the way other classical politicians have been called out on switching their views.” 

Trump tried to ban TikTok while he was serving in the White House, issuing an executive order that would’ve forced the app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell off its U.S. assets. The order ended up being blocked in court. 

This year, he shifted that rhetoric, opposing a ban and arguing that it would benefit other social media companies, like Facebook.

During funding bill negotiations earlier this year, the House and Senate advanced legislation that would ban TikTok from U.S. app stores over a perceived national security threat. Biden signed the legislation in April, giving ByteDance roughly a year sell its assets or risk losing access to the American market.

The president also has the authority to issue a 90-day extension.

Trump blamed Biden for the potential ban as the bill made its way through Congress.

The former president’s main Super PAC, Maga Inc., also joined TikTok last month — likely a move that will resonate with younger voters.

Biden’s campaign has been on TikTok for months now, also looking to connect with influencers and reach young voters ahead of November’s likely rematch with Trump. The incumbent does not have a personal account.