A Trump surrogate who regularly appears on CNN has a new gig — as a lobbyist for a Chinese telecom giant that was hit in 2018 with US sanctions.
SWAMP UPDATE: To block restrictions on Chinese firms accused of violating US sanctions, the Chinese tech giant ZTE is relying on TRUMP-allied lobbyists: @DavidJUrban, @Rick_Wiley, Doug Davenport (a MANAFORT protege) & @ConnieMackIV. https://t.co/7Fog1Cqa4b https://t.co/S18FfT8y29 pic.twitter.com/wjt8MM1dTP
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 3, 2019
Reports of the Trump pundit’s new position came a day after the Center for Responsive Politics reported that former vice presidential candidate and senator Joe Lieberman had also formally registered as a ZTE lobbyist.
The Trump administration has gone back and forth with sanctions on the Chinese firm which, according to some US officials and members of Congress, “could endanger national security by providing espionage opportunities for the Chinese government,” CRP noted.
After pleading guilty to violating sanctions by illegally importing technology to North Korea and Iran in 2017, ZTE agreed to reprimand the senior employees involved. When the US Department of Commerce learned it had not adequately taken those steps in 2018, however, the government banned US exports to ZTE for seven years.
President Donald Trump jumped into the fray amid reports that the company had to shut down operations due to the export ban — and within two months, the ZTE sanctions had been lifted.