Trump says he has given his “blessing” to TikTok deal but that final terms are still being negotiated

President Trump said Saturday that he had given his “blessing” to a deal between Oracle and the popular video-sharing app TikTok, potentially averting a ban of the app in U.S. after months of negotiation.

Importantly, Trump signaled that negotiations were ongoing and that it could still fall apart.

“I can say that I have given the deal my blessing,” Trump told reporters before departing for North Carolina. “If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too.”

Trump later added that he had “approved the deal in concept.”

On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said it would block new downloads of the TikTok app from American app stores beginning Sept. 20 and that the app could be blocked from use in the U.S. entirely on Nov. 12, citing national security concerns.

Trump has tried for weeks to force TikTok to spin off its U.S. operations to prevent the app’s Chinese parent company from accessing U.S. data.

Trump said the deal would include investment partnerships with Oracle and Walmart, and that TikTok would “be making about a $5 billion contribution towards education. We’re going to be setting up a very large fund for the education of American youth.”

He didn’t provide more information about how this would work, but said it was one of the conditions he had long demanded as part of any deal.

He also said the new entity would “most likely be incorporated in Texas” and that the firm would “be hiring at least 25,000 people.”

He also added an important caveat, saying “we’ll see whether or not it all happens, but conceptually I think it’s a great deal for America.”

In the past week, sources have told the Washington Post that the deal represents a significant step down from the full sale that the president was initially calling for. Instead, Oracle would become the “technology partner” of TikTok in the U.S. and have oversight of its technical operations in an attempt to satisfy the White House’s concerns.

Trump and other lawmakers have expressed concerns about the app for months, saying TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, opened it up to potentially exposing U.S. customer information to Beijing. Trump signed an executive order in August that would have banned the app from being listed in U.S. app stores beginning Sunday. The approval of this deal could mean TikTok would remain in the stores, though the order has not yet been changed.

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