Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called President Joe Biden “incompetent” after employing teenage TikTok stars to help inform people on Russia’s war in Ukraine and rising gas prices during a Tuesday interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Council advisers hosted a March 10 virtual meeting with 30 TikTok stars to disclose the administration’s goals on aiding Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, the Washington Post reported.
“This shows just how incompetent President Biden is, Jesse, that now he’s asking teenagers to do his job for him,” Hawley said Tuesday. “I mean, think about that for a second. This is the President of the United States. It’s bad enough that he’s going around begging dictators to get us oil because he won’t allow Americans to produce our own energy, but now he’s going to actual teenagers and begging them on a Chinese-owned social media app to do his job.”
Hawley said the administration is “unserious” toward the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to U.S. national security. He warned the CCP has a “backdoor” to all the content and data posted to TikTok, which was why he advocated banning the app in the U.S. (RELATED: Josh Hawley Wants The US To Abandon Its Pledge To Let Ukraine Join NATO)
“This isn’t an app that anybody ought to be promoting, let along the President of the United States. So, it is incredibly irresponsible. It is like him sharing our intelligence with Chinese officials, which he apparently did,” he continued. “So, it’s a pattern here where this White House doesn’t know what’s going on, they blunder from one chaotic moment [or] crisis to another, and now here they are asking teenagers to do their job for them on Chinese social media.”
TikTok star Ellie Zeiler, a participant of the White House meeting, posted a Sunday video of herself explaining the causes of soaring gas prices, which continue to exceed $4 per gallon. When the 18-year-old asked Psaki about inflation, the press secretary solely pinned Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Fox Business.
“Why is gas so expensive, and why is the United States inflation rate at a four-time decade high?” Zeiler said in her video. “I had the opportunity to ask the White House why gas down the street is $7 and here’s what they said.”
She cited demand exceeding supply since the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the rising prices. Zeiler said she considers herself a “White House correspondent for Gen Z,” the Washington Post reported.
Gen-Z for Change, an organization of influencers, said they attended the meeting to be “better able to debunk misinformation.”