Ethics disclosures show Biden aides had ties to large tech companies

Financial disclosures made by the White House shows, high ranking officials from the Biden administration had previously undisclosed ties to large corporations including tech giants Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp.

According to filings made with the Office of Government Ethics, Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor, had served on an advisory council for Microsoft from 2017 through May 2020. He was paid $45,000 last year.

The disclosures also show Sullivan, who oversees an interagency response to January’s cyberattack on Microsoft’s Exchange email software, holds between $50,000 to $100,000 shares in both Alphabet and Microsoft and between $15,000 to $50,000 in Facebook stocks.

In a statement, the White House said officials such as Sullivan are “experienced government leaders whose past private sector experience is part of a broad and diverse skill set they bring to government service.”

It went on to add, Sullivan is not participating in decisions directly affecting Microsoft, has not had any contact with the company and is consulting with NSC lawyers to remain in compliance with ethics requirements.

An official from the White House said, Sullivan is divesting himself of all of his stockholdings.

A spokeswoman from Microsoft said “individuals from across the political spectrum offer ideas and advice on a variety of national policy issues” to the company.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki was paid at least $5,000 as a communications consultant for Lyft Inc.

Officials from the White House said, the consulting involved writing a plan and occurred for about six months.

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