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TikTok Hires Biden-Connected Consulting Firm as Ban Looms

TikTok Hires Biden-Connected Consulting Firm as Ban Looms
Photograph Credit score: Solen Feyissa

TikTok hires Biden-connected consulting agency SKDK as federal ban looms.

TikTok has employed high Biden-connected consulting agency SKDK whereas it continues going through scrutiny in Washington, Politico reviews. The general public affairs and political consulting agency is offering communications assist to the corporate because it faces continued hearth from the federal government. Senators lately launched a bipartisan invoice to empower the president to limit or ban the Chinese language-owned service altogether.

The U.S. authorities has been constructing a hearth beneath TikTok for years for the reason that Trump administration tried to ban the app. This has continued with the Biden administration’s Committee on International Funding within the U.S. conducting a nationwide safety evaluate of TikTok.

SKDK is seen as essentially the most well-connected Democratic agency in Washington, with former high staff in senior and mid-level roles within the Biden administration. Anita Dunn, a founding associate, returned to the White Home in Might final 12 months.

She serves as a senior adviser following her work within the early a part of the Biden administration and through Biden’s 2020 marketing campaign. Different former SKDK staff within the Biden administration embrace deputy White Home communications administrators Kate Berner and Herbie Ziskend, deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh, and Inside Division press secretary Tyler Cherry.

Whereas SKDK has continued to thrive within the Biden period, it has additionally confronted further scrutiny for its selection of purchasers, parting methods with Starbucks final 12 months because the espresso big tried to keep at bay a union-organizing effort. The agency has additionally labored with Amazon at the very least as lately as 2021.

The invoice launched by a bipartisan group of senators that would have an effect on TikTok has seen assist from the White Home. The proposed laws would give the federal authorities new powers to limit and probably ban applied sciences from China and different nations designated as U.S. adversaries. TikTok-owner ByteDance is regularly cited as one of many largest considerations, with worries that the Chinese language authorities might make the most of knowledge harvested from its hundreds of thousands of American customers.

ByteDance has spent greater than $13 million on lobbying since 2019 to attempt to mitigate federal authorities motion in opposition to TikTok, having employed a number of dozen lobbyists, together with former Senate Majority Chief Trent Lott (R-MS) and John Breaux Sr. (R-LA), who work for Crossroads Methods, and former Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Bart Gordon (D-TN), at present working for Okay&L Gates.