Meet the Former GOP and Democratic Congressional Staffers TikTok Hired as Lobbyists

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Posted: Jul 11, 2020 10:02 AM
Meet the Former GOP and Democratic Congressional Staffers TikTok Hired as Lobbyists

Source: AP Photo

TikTok has come under fire for being owned by the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just last week talked about banning TikTok and other CCP-owned social media platforms out of national security concerns. Because of that, the social media company is beefing up its lobbying efforts in the United States. 

According to CNBC and The Daily Caller, new hires include:

  • Michael Hacker, a former senior advisor to House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
  • Michael Bloom, a former senior advisor to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
  • Freddy Barnes, a former staffer for the National Republican Congressional Committee and a long-time advisor to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
  • Derrick Dockery, a former staffer to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and staffer for the House Oversight Committee. 

The U.S. Public Policy team at TikTok is being headed up by Michael Beckerman. He previously worked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressmen Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI).

The social media platform went on a hiring spree after coming under fire for data and privacy concerns. TikTok was keeping data – including videos and personal information – of users 13 and under, which violated a 2019 agreement the company had with the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department.

Back in March, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) warned about the Chinese Communist Party's use of data from TikTok.

"TikTok is owned by a Chinese company that includes Chinese Communist Party members in leadership, and it is requires by Chinese law to share user data with Beijing," Hawley said in a statement at the time. TikTok has admitted that it has sent user data to China. To put it bluntly, this is a major security risk for the American people."

That concern is what sparked Hawley and Sen. Tim Scott (R-FL) to introduce the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which would prevent federal employees from downloading the mobile application on government-owned cell phones.

Americans have been warned not to download the social media platform out of privacy concerns and data being sent to the CCP.