Rand Paul backed by GOP donor with $33B TikTok stake
Sen. Rand Paul’s strong opposition to the TikTok ban shocked Capitol Hill last week, but you can see it as a straightforward case of following the money, according to insiders — in this case, money from a major GOP donor who has $33 billion. on the line.
The Kentucky gentleman — who has built his career partly as a China Hawk — stunned colleagues on the Senate floor last week when he fast-tracked legislation to ban the TikTok of Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley. stopped the expectations of
“Speech is protected whether you like it or not,” Rand said, jumping on Hawley’s proposal as soon as he finished speaking. “Believe that our desire for freedom is strong enough to survive some dance videos.”
Sources claim Paul’s impassioned speech should go to GOP mega donor Jeffrey Yass.
The billionaire CEO of Susquehanna Financial Group. has given Paul more than that $10 million by 2020According to the election filing.
His fund also has a 15% stake in TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, which is worth an estimated $33 billion.
While Susquehanna investors generally benefit from the ByteDance stake, Yass is the majority owner. According to ProPublicawhich published a major article last summer about how Yas managed to avoid $1 billion in taxes with the help of creative business strategies.
“My opposition to censorship and my unwavering support for the First Amendment are consistent with deeply held libertarian beliefs,” Sen. Paul told the Post in a statement. “Anyone who claims my posts are commercial is not paying attention.”
A spokesman for Yass declined to comment. A source close to Yass notes that he has been a longtime supporter of libertarian causes — and that those commitments predate any concerns about banning TikTok.
Still, Paul opposed Hawley’s TikTok ban Created the titles suggesting that this may be the first time that Paul and Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — another vocal supporter of TikTok — have actually agreed on anything.
Paul isn’t the only conservative in Washington who has Yass’ talking points.
last month, David MackintoshThe president of the right-leaning Club for Growth wrote an op-ed, “It seems tempting to ban TikTok. Here’s why it’s all wrong“, in which he argued that the ban was being supported by Big Tech and would limit freedom.
Club for Growth has received nearly $3 million from Yas over the past five years. According to the selection files.
Also last month, Jennifer Huddleston, a policy research fellow at the Cato Institute — where Yass has been on the executive advisory council since 2001 — wrote in an op-ed for USA Today, “Should the US ban TikTok? Here is why blocking it is not a good idea“, in which, like Sen. Paul, she argues that the ban could “raise important questions about the First Amendment rights of US users of TikTok.”
Elsewhere, John Tammany, vice president of Freedom Works – who received a $15,000 donation from Yass and, with his help, hosted an event On the importance of economic freedom – argued that a TikTok ban would be “dangerous”.
“Why do Americans always have to lose their liberties whenever politicians find out what they think is a threat?” Tammany writes in an op-ed for Real Clear Market, titled, “Rep. Attacks on Mike Gallagher’s TikTok More Dangerous Than TikTok”