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.
NEW: TikTok and its parent company ByteDance spent a record $2.39 million on lobbying in the second quarter of 2022, focusing on legislation aimed at competing with China & at prohibiting TikTok from federal use, and targeting Congress & the White House.https://t.co/uvnU7tzRyH
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 27, 2022
A former advisor to former President Donald Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, David Urban, disclosed receiving $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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