TikTok lobbyists visited White House numerous times last year, visitor logs show

Three former Democratic congressmen who now are lobbying on behalf of TikTok made multiple trips to the White House last year.

Published: April 20, 2023 11:31am

Lobbyists working on behalf of TikTok and its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance visited the White House numerous times last year, visitor logs show, as lawmakers across the country crack down on the social media platform over national security concerns.

Former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.), who lobbies for TikTok at Crossroads Strategies, went to the White House at least three times in 2022, as did his colleague and fellow TikTok lobbyist Stephanie Leger Short, according to public records.

ByteDance lobbyist Lauren Aronson, of Mehlman Consulting, visited twice in September, while Paul Thornell, who works at the same consulting firm, visited at least three times.

While representing TikTok through K&L Gates lobbying firm, former Rep. Barton Gordon (D-Tenn.) visited the White House at least once last year.

Former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), who was ousted by Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018 and went on to represent TikTok through the lobbying firm Dentons, visited the White House at least four times in 2022.

Overall last year, TikTok and ByteDance lobbyists visited the White House at least 40 times, according to The Washington Free Beacon, but that number could not be independently confirmed by Just the News.

The app is banned on most federal devices, and many states have prohibited the platform on their government-owned devices. Congress is considering banning the app completely in the United States, and Montana became the first U.S. state to do so last week.

The Chinese-owned video app has been under increasing scrutiny as U.S. lawmakers and officials raise concerns about national security. FBI Director Christopher Wray said last month that ByteDance is subject to user data requests from the Chinese Communist Party.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News