The clock is ticking for TikTok. Or is it? Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know.
Trump had in early August requiring the app sever ties with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or face a ban in the U.S. But he doesn’t seem clear on the timing of a deadline he set himself, based on what he said while to reporters on Thursday evening.
When questioned about a possible extension of TikTok’s deadline to find new owners, Trump replied, “I’m not extending deadlines. No, it’s September 15. There will be no extension of the TikTok deadline.”
There’s just a few problems there. For one, Trump has already approved an extension of the original deadline. And neither the original date nor the extended deadline fall on Sept. 15.
On Aug. 6, Trump signed an targeting TikTok. The order barred anyone in the U.S. from doing business with ByteDance, the China-based parent company, due to potential security issues involving the Chinese government. Trump gave TikTok 45 days to find a U.S.-based buyer.
Forty-five days from Aug. 6 is not Sept. 15. It’s Sept. 20.
Ah, “around September 15!” you say, maybe wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. Sure, OK. Except Trump signed another executive order about a week after the previous one, to 90 days… well into November.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, is the person who imposed an ultimatum on TikTok: Cut ties with your Chinese parent company, Bytedance, and sell to a U.S.-based organization or your viral video app will be banned in the States. It seems well within reason for Trump to know exactly what date that deadline falls on. It seems like a pretty important detail.
As of Sept. 12, officially, on paper, that deadline is about a month and a half away. Perhaps Trump will remember or be reminded of this extension prior to Sept. 15. Or there’s a good chance he’ll wake up on the morning of Sept. 15 and declare TikTok is banned…even though it wouldn’t be.
Or maybe none of these dates even matter. TikTok is currently over the ban. Legal experts have whether the U.S. government even has the ability to ban the app. China has hinted at doing everything in its power to .
One thing is clear though: At the moment, TikTok’s future in the U.S. is very unclear.