Biden’s closest advisors have ties to massive companies, a few of which make tens of millions
United States President Joe Biden speaks on vaccination status during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 18, 2021.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Joe Biden’s closest advisors are tied to big business and Wall Street. Some make millions of dollars in their careers before joining the White House.
Senior Biden personnel listed in the disclosures include Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, Senior Advisor Mike Donilon, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients, and Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese.
These figures show that many of the President’s closest associates are closely connected to the business community and have made more money in their previous corporate careers than previously known.
This information was made available to CNBC by the White House early Saturday morning after the documents were requested the day before. None of these positions have been confirmed by the Senate. Many of these advisors are already linked to Biden’s campaign or the administration of former President Barack Obama.
A White House spokesman did not return a follow-up request for comment.
Deese was previously Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock before becoming head of the National Economic Council. During his tenure with the investment firm, Deese’s disclosure reveals that he has made over $ 2.3 million in salaries and bonuses. Its disclosure also suggests that Deese could have made an additional $ 2.4 million through BlackRock’s restricted share plan.
Klain, who was an executive at the venture capital firm Revolution prior to joining the White House, had a salary of $ 1.8 million. He started with the company in 2005.
O’Malley Dillon, who led Biden’s campaign before joining the White House, co-founded the consulting firm Precision Strategies. The company’s founders are credited with supporting Obama in the re-election in 2012.
O’Malley Dillon’s new financial disclosure provides a glimpse into the business advice she provided to the company before joining the White House. The file lists Gates Ventures as a client of O’Malley Dillon when she was with Precision Strategies.
According to PitchBook, Gates Ventures is a venture capital company founded by billionaire Bill Gates. The current White House Deputy Chief of Staff also advised the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic arm of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
Other companies that saw their leadership were General Electric and Lyft. O’Malley Dillon’s deferred compensation and severance payment from Precision is reported to be in excess of $ 420,000.
Prior to joining the White House, Donilon was an executive member of MCD Strategies, a media consultancy. His filing shows that he has generated over $ 4 million in revenue as the head of his consulting firm. Donilon lists the Biden Campaign and the Democratic National Convention Committee as two of his clients.
Zients was the CEO of Wall Street investment firm Cranemere before becoming senior advisor to the White House in Biden on the coronavirus pandemic. His financial disclosure shows that he had a combined salary and bonus of $ 1.6 million. As a board member of Facebook, the new report reveals that he made over $ 330,000.
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