TikTok hired a Biden-connected consulting firm as the Chinese social media app is facing increased scrutiny from lawmakers, Politico reported.
Politico reported that TikTok has recently hired SKDK, according to two people, including one with direct knowledge of the hire. The consulting firm with deep ties to President Joe Biden is said to be providing communications support to the company.
The consulting firm, known for being well-connected within Democrat circles, worked with Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, even promoting it on its website, and has hired many former employees in senior and mid-level roles in the administration. That includes Anita Dunn, one of the firm’s founding partners, who has been in and out of the White House after working on the 2020 campaign.
According to the report, TikTok hired the consulting firm “in the last few months.” A spokesperson for SKDK, in addition to a spokesperson for TikTok, declined to comment on the information to Politico.
Politico reported on TikTok’s past lobbying efforts:
To try to mitigate federal government action against TikTok, the app’s Chinese owner ByteDance has spent more than $13 million on lobbying since 2019 and has hired several dozen lobbyists, including former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux Sr. (R-La.), who work for Crossroads Strategies, as well as former Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), who currently work for K&L Gates.
This comes after the popular Chinese social media app has already been banned on U.S. government devices for being a potential national security problem and numerous governors taking similar action in their respective states. However, this also comes as the Biden administration has endorsed swift passage of bipartisan legislation — the RESTRICT Act — that would help “ban or prohibit” foreign technology, including TikTok.
The legislation introduced on Tuesday by Senate Intelligence Committee chair Mark Warner (D-VA) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) would empower the secretary of Commerce to “ban or prohibit” foreign technology from six adversary nations from coming into the United States, which would ultimately include TikTok’s China-based parent company.
This is not TikTok’s first time dealing with the U.S. attempting to eliminate the social media app. In 2020, then-President Donald Trump’s administration tried to ban TikTok, which resulted in the Chinese social media app’s parent company divesting the platform to an American company.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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