Biden White House’s Ties to Big Tech Are Detailed in New Disclosures

WASHINGTON – Several of President Biden’s White House aides have ties to companies in key positions in the administration in cybersecurity, antitrust and other policy areas, new federal disclosures show.

The returns, which the White House has made available upon request through an online portal, detail the net worth, stock portfolios, earnings, non-government positions and debts of employees and their spouses through 2020, when they enter government service this year.

Some of these connections could be an early test of how the Biden administration interprets its ethics pledge, which requires appointees to agree not to participate in any matter involving certain parties directly and substantially related to my former employer or clients, including settlements and contracts. On Saturday, the White House said no exceptions had been made to the government’s ethics pledge for White House staff.

It is not uncommon for senior officials to have links with leading companies, as all modern government departments rely on the private sector to fill senior positions. President Donald Trump’s initial team of advisors and cabinet members included representatives from the oil industry, Wall Street and his personal real estate and licensing business.

The new White House revelations about Biden draw particular attention to recent ties between national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Microsoft Corporation.

Sullivan is spearheading an interagency effort to combat a recent cyber attack on Microsoft Exchange email software, which the company says was carried out by a network of suspected Chinese hackers. Microsoft’s network was also available in the recently discovered alleged Russian hacks of at least nine federal agencies and dozens of private companies.

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Before joining the government, Sullivan, a former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, served on Microsoft’s advisory board from 2017 until last May, his report shows. In that capacity, he received $45,000 last year as a member of a group that advises the company’s chairman on key policy issues, the report said.

Asked about Sullivan’s disclosure, a White House spokesman said that while Sullivan is dealing with the national security implications of the Microsoft Exchange hack, deputy national security adviser Ann Neuberger is leading the National Security Council response.

Sullivan has had no contact with the company, is not involved in decisions that directly affect the company and consults with NSC’s attorneys to ensure they meet ethical requirements, the official said.

White House officials are seasoned government leaders whose previous experience in the private sector is part of the broad and diverse skill set they bring to public service, the White House said in a statement. They have returned to government because they are dedicated to public service, because they want to help our nation overcome this crisis, and because they firmly believe that government can work for the American people.

Asked about Sullivan’s role on the advisory board, Microsoft said in a statement that the group, like many multinational companies, offers ideas and advice on various national policy issues from across the political spectrum.

Through a trust, Mr. Sullivan owns $50,000 to $100,000 worth of stock in Microsoft and Google’s parent company,

Alphabet Inc,

used in accordance with its statement, the measurement of assets and revenues. He also owns between $15,000 and $50,000 of Facebook stock.

Sullivan’s statement details his work for the consulting firm Macro Advisory Partners and shows that he received approximately $138,000 in fees last year. His clients included

Uber Technologies Inc,

Mastercard Inc,

Lego Insurance Company

Aviva

SPS,

Standard Aberdeen Life,

Standard ordered

and subsidiaries

Bank of America Corp.

Other senior Biden staffers mentioned past positions or holdings in technology companies and other businesses involved in the government’s response to Covid-19.

A White House spokesman said Saturday that Sullivan is renouncing all his stockings, which will be reflected in the government’s upcoming divestment bill. He will refrain from making any inquiries about his former Macro Advisory Partners clients and will have no further contact with those firms, the official said.

Other senior Biden staffers mentioned past positions or holdings in technology companies and other businesses involved in the government’s response to Covid-19.

Susan Rice, who heads the Domestic Policy Council, transferred at least $37.9 million in assets.

Photo:

Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg News

Susan Rice, who heads the White House Domestic Policy Council, has transferred assets worth at least $37.9 million.

The former national security adviser to the Obama administration and ambassador to the United Nations resigned as a board member of The Economist in mid-December.

Netflix Inc.

stated in his filing that he was in the process of liquidating the stock options he acquired after joining the streaming company in 2018. Less than a third of these options sold for $305,275 in August.

The portfolio includes shares of Covid 19 vaccine manufacturers.

Pfizer Inc.

и

Johnson & Johnson.

She placed Johnson & Johnson shares worth $1 million to $5 million and Pfizer shares worth $15,001 to $50,000.

A White House official said Saturday that Rice was not involved in the administration’s decisions about the Covid-19 vaccines.

Ms. Rice transferred nearly $638,000 to the United States. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Mr. Biden’s speaking fees in 2020, including more than $128,000 after Mr… Biden.

Coronavirus Czar Jeff Zients was on Facebook’s board of directors until the middle of last year.

Photo:

Jacqueline Martin/Associated Press

Jeff Zients, the Biden administration’s czar who claims at least $89 million in assets, was on Facebook’s board of directors until the middle of last year. He also owned shares in the company, as evidenced by his statement.

A White House official said Zients dropped all questions about Facebook and sold the shares as quickly as he could. The official was referring to the public announcement of his departure from the board due to disagreements over the direction of the company.

Louisa Terrell, a White House legislative director who reported at least $680,000 in assets, was formerly Facebook’s director of public relations and owned $250,000 to $500,000 worth of the company’s stock as recently as last year. In its latest announcement, it says it will give up these assets.

Jen Psaki, a White House press secretary and veteran of the Obama administration, was paid at least $5,000 as a communications consultant for a passenger transportation company.

Lyft Inc.

The consultation took about six months, according to a White House official, when the company did not yet have a communications director and was in the process of creating a communications plan.

-Alexia Kors and John McCormick contributed to this article.

Email Chad’s Day at Chad.Day@wsj.com.

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