Trump voices support for potential Oracle-TikTok deal
President Trump on Tuesday voiced support for a potential acquisition of TikTok’s American operations by Oracle, adding to the existing uncertainty over the sale of the Chinese owned short-form video app.
“Well, I think Oracle is a great company, and I think its owner is a tremendous guy,” Trump said at an event in Yuma, Ariz., when asked about reports that the software company is in talks to acquire TikTok’s business in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Trump in early August signed a pair of orders that would effectively ban TikTok and the messaging app WeChat from operating in the U.S. after Sept. 20. Trump invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and said his move was in response to TikTok’s collection of user data and concerns it could be shared with China’s government.
The order declared that any transaction with ByteDance would be prohibited in the U.S. in 45 days, essentially giving the company a short period to sell TikTok to a U.S. owner.
Trump last week signed another executive order demanding ByteDance divest its American assets and any U.S. data from TikTok within 90 days.
Microsoft had emerged as the favorite to purchase the company’s U.S. operations, with the company and TikTok both confirming that negotiations are ongoing.
When asked if he had a preference on Microsoft or Oracle making a deal with TikTok, Trump demurred.
“Well, I guess Microsoft wants it and so does Oracle, and probably so do other people, but they have to also make sure the United States is well compensated because we’re the ones making it possible,” he said Tuesday, referencing his questionable demand that the Treasury Department get a payout in any deal.
Trump has a number of ties to Oracle.
Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who Trump called a “tremendous person” Tuesday, hosted a fundraiser for the president earlier this year.
Safra Catz, Oracle’s CEO, was part of Trump’s transition team in 2016 and was reportedly floated to join his cabinet.
The company’s D.C. top lobbyist, Ken Glueck, was also on Trump’s transition team.