Former President Donald Trump said he believes that TikTok is a national security threat, but that he couldn’t support Congress banning the popular app because doing so would boost support for Facebook, which is the “enemy of the people.”

Asked whether he believes TikTok is a national security threat during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Monday morning, Trump said, “I do believe that.”

“I do believe it, and we have to very much admit we are protecting American people’s privacy and data rights,” he said.

Trump had initially supported efforts to ban the app in the U.S., but recently reversed his support. Pressed on why he flipped, Trump said he could have banned TikTok during his presidency, but left it up to Congress to do so.

“But as you know, I was at the point where I could have gotten it done if I wanted to. I should have said, you guys decide, you make that decision because there are a lot of people who talk that love it,” he said. “There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it. There are a lot of users.”

Trump then argued that banning TikTok would lead to the growth of Facebook, which he slammed as “enemy of the people.”

“There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot of bad with TikTok. But the thing I don’t like is that without TikTok, you can make Facebook bigger and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people along with a lot of the media,” he said.

The former president had decried Facebook as an “enemy of the people” in a Truth Social post last week, saying that a ban on TikTok would allow Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg to “double their business.”

Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol over inflammatory posts about the attack. 

Meta, the social media giant that operates Facebook and Instagram, reinstated his accounts last year after a two-year provisional suspension.

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