Democrat Rep. Jeff Jackson apologizes on TikTok for voting to ban app: ‘I screwed this up’

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Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson posted a video to TikTok apologizing for his vote that could help ban the Chinese-owned app from the U.S.

“I screwed this up, I did,” Jackson, who is running for North Carolina attorney general, said in the video over the weekend. “And the reason I voted for it was because I genuinely believe the chance of a ban is practically zero for a lot of reasons – financial, political, geopolitical – I just don’t think there’s any real chance of a ban. I still believe that, but maybe I got that balance wrong.”

“I apologize, and I will keep you posted,” the freshman congressman said.

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Jackson, who has 2.3 million TikTok followers, said he’s been “completely roasted” on the app ever since his vote. 

Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson posted a video to TikTok apologizing for his vote that could help ban the Chinese-owned app from the U.S. (Rep Jeff Jackson/jeffjacksonnc/TikTok)

“If I were in your shoes, I would probably feel the same way,” he said. “I would see someone who used this app to build a following, and then appears to have voted against it. And I would be upset.”

In the video, Jackson said he liked TikTok as a means to connect with people, but that there were “genuinely alarming” briefings about the app in Congress.

Jackson said he thought the House bill would force the sale of TikTok to a U.S. company, not result in a full ban. Both Democrats and Republicans supported the bill, which passed the House by a 352-65 vote last week. 

HOUSE PASSES BILL THAT COULD SEE TIKTOK BANNED IN US

An iPhone screen with the TikTok app.

The bill would block TikTok in the U.S. if its parent company, Bytedance, does not divest from it within 165 days of passage. (iStock)

The bill, led by House China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., would block TikTok in the U.S. if its parent company, Bytedance, does not divest from it within 165 days of passage. It would also require it to be bought by a country that is not a U.S. adversary.

TikTok’s critics have long called it a national security threat. They have cited concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to leverage its power over Bytedance to access sensitive user data, even in the U.S., something the company has denied. 

JOHNSON SAYS HOUSE WILL ‘APPLY EVERY AMOUNT OF PRESSURE’ TO SENATE TO PASS TIKTOK BILL

Congress hearing security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before a congressional panel on Thursday regarding security concerns surrounding the Chinese-owned app. (Fox News )

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Last week, Jackson uploaded a TikTok video saying the Chinese Communist Party “can tweak the algorithm in ways that may be helpful to them, and harmful to us,” which is why the bill got overwhelming support in Congress, he said.

China hawks have also warned that the app’s popularity among young Americans gives the ruling Chinese Communist Party a platform for a mass influence campaign.

It’s unclear when the Senate will take up the legislation, but several senators have already signaled they support the divestment of the social media app. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Jackson’s office for further comment.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report. 

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