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White House at a Total Fucking Loss to Explain Trump’s TikTok Shakedown

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No one in the White House has any idea what the fuck Donald Trump was talking about when he suggested that the U.S. Treasury should get a slice of any deal for Microsoft to buy TikTok.

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The Trump administration has threatened to ban TikTok in the U.S., possibly by putting it on a Commerce Department blacklist, over largely theoretical concerns that Beijing-based owner ByteDance could use it to spy on tens of millions of users in the U.S. on behalf of the Chinese government. One option to avoid the crackdown would be for ByteDance to sell off the app to a U.S. company—such as Microsoft, which is negotiating to do just that at a price that will likely land in the tens of billions.

On Monday, Trump told reporters that he was on board with such a deal, just so long as Microsoft (or whoever) greased the wheels. The president made it crystal clear that because the White House is “making it possible for this deal to happen,” then “a very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States.” He compared such a payment to “key money,” which in New York real estate terms means a bribe.

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Per Reuters, both White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany were unable to explain the apparent extortion demand on Tuesday. Kudlow claimed there was a “lot of options” such as possible “fees.”

“There’s no specific blueprint here,” Kudlow told Fox Business News. “It may be that the president was thinking, because the Treasury has had to do so much work on this, there are a lot of options here. I’m not sure it’s a specific concept that will be followed through… Regarding fees or anything like that, all that remains to be seen.”

Kudlow also appeared to give the White House a way out, adding that the Treasury payment was not necessarily a “key stipulation.”

McEnany didn’t have any kind of answer when questioned during a press briefing on Tuesday, per a White House transcript. Instead, she stated she didn’t want to “get ahead of the president on any official action”:

Okay, so I’m not going to get ahead of the president on any official action, but he has made that point. And he and both Secretary Pompeo have said that the U.S. action — that the U.S. will take action in the coming days on Chinese apps, including TikTok — TikTok, excuse me, due to the national security risk. And we all agree that there needs to be a change, especially with TikTok collecting significant amounts of private data on users. It’s unacceptable, but I won’t get ahead of the president on what those actions look like.

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It’s perhaps not a surprise that the White House is at a loss to explain what the president meant, as such a payment would be unprecedented and appears to have no underlying basis beyond Trump making shit up on the fly.

“This is quite unusual, this is out of the norm,” Gene Kimmelman, former Department of Justice Antitrust Division chief counsel and senior adviser to Public Knowledge, told CNN. “It’s actually quite hard to understand what the president is actually talking about here … It’s not unheard of for transactions to have broader geopolitical implications between countries, but it’s quite remarkable to think about some kind of money being on the table in connection with a transaction.”

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Of course, it’s not hard for anyone outside the administration to figure out what the president actually meant. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-run Global Times, tweeted that the demand was “open robbery.”

Source : Gizmodo Read More

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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