Tiktok Bought A Line To The White House By Hiring The Biden-Connected SKDK

Within the past few months, TikTok hired SKDK, a firm connected to Biden, to provide ‘communications support’ as it fights a push to ban the app. This move has given the company a line to the White House.

Top executives at SKDK, the Democratic public relations juggernaut that works for TikTok and other corporations, met recently with White House officials, visitor logs show.

SKDK chief executive Doug Thornell and firm partner Oren Shur met on Dec. 20 with Caitlin Meloski, a special assistant to the National Economic Council, which advises the president on economic policy.

While details of the meeting are unclear, it raised questions about the degree of influence TikTok and its representatives have on the Biden White House. TikTok hired SKDK within the past few months to provide “communications support” as it fights a push to ban the app because of concerns that the Chinese government could use the platform to spy on Americans. SKDK reportedly advised TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew for a congressional hearing last month in which he downplayed concerns about China’s control of the social media platform.

SKDK’s arrangement with TikTok has come under scrutiny because of the consulting firm’s relationship with the Biden administration. Most of that scrutiny has focused on Anita Dunn, an SKDK founding partner and one of Biden’s top aides. Government watchdog groups worry that SKDK, which received millions of dollars from the Biden campaign in 2020, could use its political connections to gain access for its corporate clients. Dunn advised firms like Salesforce, AT&T, and Pfizer until she left SKDK last year.

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It is unclear if Thornell and Shur discussed TikTok during their White House visit and whether Dunn was aware of or involved in their meeting. The SKDK executives did not respond to multiple requests this week for comment. The White House, which has said that Dunn has recused herself from matters involving SKDK, also did not respond to comment requests.

The US government has now invested nearly $6 billion in an effort led by President Biden to provide a lifeline to Moderna amid the COVID-19 crisis.

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