Senate Democrats want national security investigation into Saudi Arabia’s role in Elon Musk-Twitter deal
Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is calling on the federal government to investigate national security concerns raised by Saudi Arabia’s role in Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal helped Musk finance the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter (TWTR).
share of existing $1.9 billion in the company of social media. The move makes the Saudi entity the second largest shareholder in Twitter – behind only Musk himself.
“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in suppressing political speech and influencing US policy, are now the second largest owner of a major social networking platform,” Murphy said. in one tweet on Monday
The Connecticut Democrat urged Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, to conduct an investigation into the “national security implications” of Saudi involvement. CIFUS, an interagency committee chaired by the US Treasury Department, reviews acquisitions of US companies by foreign buyers and has the ability to block transactions that raise concerns.
Although Musk already is he closed his grip of Twitter late last week, may also be subject to national security review.
According to the 2021 annual CFIUS report to Congress, the panel has the authority to “review pending or completed transactions” if a committee member believes there are national security concerns.
“There is a clear national security issue at play and CFIUS should do a review,” Murphy said, noting that another major social media platform, TikTok, is owned by a Chinese company. “This is a dangerous trend, and we will not accept it.”
Both the White House and the Treasury Department declined to comment in response to Murphy’s call.
At the beginning of the month, Twitter’s shares fell after that Bloomberg News reported that Biden officials are in initial discussions about possibly subjecting some of Musk’s companies to national security reviews, including the Twitter deal.
However, US officials have pushed back on that report. “We are now aware of such conversations,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement on Oct. 21.
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