President-elect Joe Biden has tapped several top employees from technology and social media companies to assist with his transition, a potential sign that Silicon Valley and the White House will have a cozy relationship during Biden’s presidential tenure.
What are the details?
Politico reported Saturday that Biden’s transition team has “quietly” recruited employees from Google and Facebook, who will, shockingly, concurrently work for the transition team and their respective companies.
“When the Biden transition team released the names of hundreds of personnel on Nov. 10, there were zero current Facebook or Google employees among them. That’s changed — the transition website quietly added four Facebook and Google employees to its agency review teams on or close to Thanksgiving,” Politico reported.
The officials are, according to Politico:
- Zaid Zaid, a public policy official for Facebook, who has joined the State Department and International Development teams;
- Christopher Upperman, a Facebook manager, who has joined the Small Business Administration team;
- Rachel Lieber, a Facebook director and associate general counsel, who has joined the Intelligence Community team; and
- Deon Scott, a Google program manager, who has joined the Department of Homeland Security team.
According to Politico reporter Steven Overly, all four Big Tech employees are Obama administration alumni.
Politico added, “Silicon Valley critics have pressured the incoming administration not to hire people with ties to the tech industry to senior posts, particularly individuals associated with Facebook and Google, which are fending off massive antitrust lawsuits. There are a number of former Facebook leaders already in top positions on the transition.”
The move is sure to raise eyebrows given criticism that Big Tech received during the election, especially over allegations that right-leaning content was suppressed.
Such criticism reached its climax in October, just weeks before Election Day, when the New York Post broke news about a laptop that allegedly belonged to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Among other bombshells contained on the laptop was the allegation that Biden knew more about Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, which have been the subject of multiple federal investigations, than he previously admitted.
Facebook suppressed the story, and Twitter outright censored it, despite the fact that Biden’s campaign never challenged material facts contained within the story.
Biden’s transition team has already announced selections for more than half of Biden’s Cabinet.
Among top posts, nominations include Antony Blinken for secretary of state, Janet Yellen for treasury secretary, and Lloyd Austin for defense secretary.
Biden has not yet announced his nominee for attorney general. However, TheBlaze reported over the weekend that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is in the running, along with outgoing Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and federal appellate Judge Merrick Garland.