Bannon Implies Trump Has Been Paid Off

( – Media executive, investment banker, and political strategist Steve Bannon is suggesting that former President Donald Trump’s shift in opinion about the social media app TikTok may be because Trump was paid off.

Bannon, who ran Trump’s 2016 campaign and served as chief strategist for the first few months of the former president’s administration, made the bold implication on Monday on his Gettr social media page with a reference to Jeff Yass.

The post came in response to a post by Trump on Truth Social, in which he signaled opposition to proposed legislation in Congress to ban TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, leading to concerns that it’s funneling American users’ data to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The former president said that getting rid of TikTok would mean that Mark Zuckerberg (who he called “Zuckerschmuck”) and Facebook would “double their business.” Trump called Facebook the “true enemy of the people” and accused the company of cheating during the 2020 election, most likely referencing the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story during the general election debates. He said he doesn’t want to see Facebook “doing better.”

Defending TikTok represents an about-face by Trump toward the platform since his 2020 executive order that ByteDance liquidate its US assets and destroy its data for allegedly posing a risk to national security, a move President Joe Biden reversed.

Trump’s about-face came after he met with Yass, a major Republican donor who is a hedge fund billionaire and owns about 15% of a stake in ByteDance. Bannon noticed this, sharing an article from Axios about Trump’s change of heart with the caption, “Simple: Yass Coin,” implying Trump is getting paid off to oppose the ban on TikTok.

The Axios article, published on Saturday, March 9th, detailed the former president’s shifting position after he long argued that TikTok was being used by the Chinese government to radicalize the youth in America to hate the US. The article went on to connect Yass and his monetary support for the GOP with support for TikTok and opposition to the ban. One example given was that Vivek Ramaswamy received $4.9 million from Yass last year, and then became the only GOP presidential candidate to sign up for TikTok and use it to reach the youth while campaigning.

Trump appeared on CNBC on Monday, March 11th, and denied that he and Yass even spoke about TikTok during their last meeting. He said that Yass “never mentioned” the company.

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