January 28, 2023

Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase

The senior US recognized previously said there was “no basis” for an investigation into the $44 billion deal

US Treasury Secretary Jeremy Yellen has said federal officials could seek to launch a review into billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter if it were deemed to carry national security risks.  

Speaking at an event hosted by the New York Times on Wednesday, Yellen  claimed she  “ misspoke”   when she said there was  “ simply no basis”   to check into Musk or his finances during an interview earlier this month, now  clarifying how the government could take that will step after all.

“ I’m never going to say specifically what we will be using. We don’t comment on elaborate in progress, ”   she said, but added the Treasury  “ does look at transactions that involve foreign investments in the United States to see if they create national security risk. ”

While the girl stopped short of confirming that a probe was underway, Yellen said:   “ if there are such risks it would be appropriate for the Treasury to have a look. ”

The secretary’s comments follow  earlier reports   that the Treasury experienced already requested approval to start reviewing Musk’s Twitter offer, though sources told the particular Washington Post at the time that such actions are  “ fairly routine”   and do not always cause a full-fledged investigation.

Earlier this month, Chief executive Joe Biden also  stated   that will Musk’s  “ romantic relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at, ”   following reports that foreign investors such as Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal now hold significant buy-ins in Twitter. However , Biden stressed that he was not claiming the billionaire had completed anything  “ unacceptable, ”   plus did not indicate that he had been under investigation.

Musk has faced stress from abroad as well, with the European Commission recently harmful to ban Twitter outright should the platform run afoul of the EU’s digital rules. According to a Wednesday report in the Financial Times, the bloc has presented Musk with a  “ checklist of rules”   and demanded he or she submit to an  “ extensive independent audit”   sometime next year, insisting Twitter must keep on to  “ aggressively”   police disinformation and hate speech.  

The billionaire has repeatedly vowed in making Twitter a bastion of free expression, even suggesting an  “ amnesty”   for previously banned accounts so long as they failed to violate the law or publish spam. However ,   critics have argued   the more hands-off technique will foster hatred, extremism and misinformation online, with some even urging major systems like Apple and Google to remove Twitter from their app stores.

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