TikTok’s Army of Lobbyists Includes Former Senators And White House Staffers

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Multiple former senators and staffers were revealed to lobby for the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, which has ramped up its lobbying efforts this year, according to the Washington Examiner.

Former Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi and former Democratic Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana lobby for the app on “issues related to internet technology and learning-enabled content platforms,” the Examiner reported, citing disclosure forms. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, hired former Democratic Rep. Barton Gordon and former Republican Rep. Jeffrey Dunham, according to a disclosure.

In addition to the former elected officials, multiple former staffers with ties to Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have been hired by TikTok and ByteDance, the Examiner reported.

A former advisor to former President Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, David Urban, disclosedreceiving $50,000 for lobbying from ByteDance.

TikTok reportedly downplayed its ties to the Chinese government, Gizmodo reported, citing documents containing talking points for public relations staffers.

Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok’s app from their app stores in June, saying the social media company was “beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by the Chinese law to comply with PRC’s surveillance demands.”

TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Daily Caller News Foundation
Daily Caller News Foundation
The Daily Caller News Foundation is a guest author for NRN. They are a non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

Kelly Offield is an investigative journalist and columnist for NRN, specializing on Big Tech's control of information. Click the red bell on the bottom left to turn on NRN's website notifications and watch Kelly Offield's author page to follow the developments of his column.