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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro late Saturday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nomination to be held in private: report Graham defends Trump on TikTok, backs Microsoft purchase Federal appeals court rejects Stormy Daniels libel case against Trump MORE's position on banning TikTok from the United States, calling the Chinese-owned video app a "national security threat" and arguing that Americans should not "fall for" the company's efforts to bolster its public image.


"Here’s what I would ask the American people. If they’re using TikTok and they hear the president is going to basically ban that, get on the Trump train with that, because that app you’re using, fun as it may be, is dangerous," Navarro, an outspoken China critic, said on Fox News's "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

The administration official went on to denounce TikTok's lobbying efforts, claiming that they "put a puppet" American CEO in charge of the company. Kevin Mayer, a former Disney executive, took over as the organization's CEO in May.

"They’re going to make it sound like, oh, can't hurt you, this, that and other thing.  Don't fall for this. Do not fall for this," Navarro added. 

TikTok, a short-form video app that has grown rapidly in popularity in recent years, has been under a cloud of scrutiny from the Trump administration and members of Congress over its relationship with the Chinese company ByteDance and its handling of user data. Many lawmakers have voiced concerns that Americans' data is not secure in the hands of a Chinese-owned app, considering a national intelligence law that requires disclosure of sensitive data when it's requested by the government in Beijing.

Trump told reporters on Air Force One Friday that he was "looking at TikTok" and considering using emergency powers or an executive order to ban the platform's operations in the U.S. The comments echoed previous remarks from Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSunday shows preview: White House, Democratic leaders struggle for deal on coronavirus bill TikTok responds to Trump: We're not going anywhere Trump says he will ban TikTok from operating in the US MORE, who said in early July that that the government was worried TikTok has shared user data with the Chinese government.   

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said.

Navarro added late Saturday that the White House's decision would mean scrutinizing "any kind of software that sends the information for Americans back to servers in China."

TikTok declined to comment directly on Trump's remarks. A company spokesperson said in a statement that "we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok." 

TikTok's U.S. general manager, Vanessa Pappas, also defended the app and some of the safety measures the company has initiated. In a video released on Saturday, Pappas said that the company isn't "planning on going anywhere" and that it's "here for the long run."

In the face of criticism, Mayer, the TikTok CEO, announced last Wednesday that the company would publicly release the platform's code in an effort to push back against “rumors and misinformation” about its handling of user data. Mayer also claimed that any action against TikTok would ultimately harm competition in the social media space.

The comments from the CEO came the same day TikTok sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee leaders disputing allegations about its security practices. 

“TikTok is not available in China,” the letter read. “We store Americans’ user data in the US, with back-up in Singapore, with strict access controls for employees. We have never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked. Any allegations to the contrary are unfounded.”

Following Trump's comments on Friday, reports surfaced that Microsoft was in talks to purchase the short-form video app. However, those talks were said to have been put on hold on Saturday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Navarro voiced strong opposition to the possibility of Microsoft purchasing TikTok, claiming on Fox News that "we’ve got to be really careful about all of this."


Tags Microsoft ByteDance tiktok Donald Trump Mike Pompeo

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Steve Easterbrook, Fired McDonald’s CEO, Had Sex With Staffers and Sent Himself the Pics, Lawsuit Claims

McDonald’s aired some extremely dirty corporate laundry in public Monday, accusing former Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook of fraudulently hiding details of three “physical sexual relationships” with employees when the board fired him last November over a separate relationship with a subordinate.

The bombshell documents also say Easterbrook awarded stock valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars to one of the employees. He could be forced to repay a severance deal said to be worth some $40 million.

The allegations were made public Monday in a securities filing, and in documents lodged with Delaware’s Court of Chancery, and widely reported by outlets, including the Financial Times in London and The New York Times.

The Golden Arches, in seeking to recover Easterbrook’s vast payoff, claims that Easterbrook lied about the extent of his “inappropriate personal behavior,” and that had it known the full facts it would have terminated him for cause, meaning he would have to relinquish his stock options.

Easterbrook, who is British, was hailed as a hero of corporate America after he doubled McDonald’s market capitalization after taking over in 2015. However, he was fired in 2019 after he admitted having exchanged explicit text messages and videos with a junior colleague, but said he had never engaged in a sexual relationship with an employee.

The new lawsuit says he in fact had “physical sexual relationships” with three employees in the year before his termination, that he approved an extraordinary stock grant valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars for one of them “in the midst of their sexual relationship,” and that he was “knowingly untruthful” with investigators, the FT reports.

The New York Times says that McDonald’s last month received an anonymous tip alleging that Easterbrook had had a sexual relationship with another employee, and that the company began a new investigation. After searching Easterbrook’s email account, the company said it found “dozens of nude, partially nude, or sexually explicit photographs and videos of various women, including photographs of these company employees, that Easterbrook had sent as attachments to messages from his company email account to his personal email account.”

The company said the photographs constituted “undisputable [sic] evidence” that Easterbrook violated the company’s prohibition on having sexual relationships with subordinates and that he had lied to the investigators last fall.

Easterbrook has yet to respond publicly to the allegations.

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