In another example that a tiny piece of news yarns were hit all the way up to the top of the White House before being partially melted and regurgitated on a lot of Twitter eggs, Donald Trump accused tech giant Google of helping the Chinese military (like "Crooked Hillary Clinton") on Saturday.
"Google helps China and their military, but not the United States," wrote the president. "Terrible! The good news is that they helped Crooked Hillary Clinton and not Trump …. and how did it turn out?"
The obvious context of this wandering mission seems to be a mockery this week with the chairman of the joint bosses by staff, Joseph Dunford, who, under a Senate Defense Forces Committee, accused Google of refusing to help the US military while providing a (unspecified) "direct benefit to the Chinese military." Dunford did not outline exactly what he was referring to, but the refusal to work with the United States almost certainly refers to Google's decision to withdraw from a gigantic drone AI imagery for the Pentagon after many employees raised ethical issues or even resigned.
What Dunford (and the president) believes Google is doing for China is less obvious. Google has limited operations in the country after pulling out of censorship and human rights, but it has been reported to be planning a return to the Chinese market with a secret censored search engine with the code name "Project Dragonfly". More worrying, as acting defense minister Patrick Shanahan seemed a clue during the hearing, the Pentagon shows normal daily economic transfers of US-China civilian technology as a threat, given the widespread ties between China's economy and its military.
Most likely, the president heard some kind of audio bit about Google and China during the hearing, but did not hit specific until they used it as an opportunity to get another wild charge on the company. During the past year, Trump has blamed it for blacklisting his speech, favoring liberals in search results and other captivating plots against him. Add help from the people's liberation army to the list of violence.
While conservatives have been trying to tear up outrageous tech companies for some time, most threats have come to a little real action. It has increased the talk of the colossal companies that control much of the online life, including Google, which is facing a kind of antitrust action, and the Federal Trade Commission has recently launched a committee to investigate that. But so far, US regulators have to a large extent been happening. (It's not really so in Europe, where Reuters reported that Google is likely to face its third antitrust penalty next week.)
Really, the president seems to live in a state of eternal existence and regularly flies new complaints against the perception of enemies before it interferes to immerse themselves in the past, so it's a pretty good chance that this Google-China stuff will be forgotten tomorrow. Also today, only days off from a terribly long-term terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques that killed at least 50 people and injured dozens of others, Trump tweeted another video of nasty music that allegedly immigrated US immigration is a national emergency.
Update: 3/16/2019 at 7:03 pm ET: This article has been updated to reflect that on Saturday, New Zealand authorities stated the death of the attacks on Christchurch mosques has risen to at least 50 years.
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