At the top of the section on Ziens ’role in supporting the Pacific Partnership in the face of left-wing opposition, the company put forward Zients’ argument that this “most advanced trade agreement ever” love quotes about Bain were deleted and replaced the company’s description as “management consultant a company that provides advice to public, private and non-profit organizations ”.
They added that Zients left Facebook “because of disagreements over the management of the company because of policies around governance and political discourse,” although Zients has never said this publicly. The transition team declined several POLITICO interview requests with Zients about why he left Facebook.
A Saguaro Strategies employee confirmed that the Wikipedia account had been linked to the company, but declined to comment further. When asked if Zients had any knowledge of the changes, and if he or a person associated with the Biden campaign hired Saguaro, the Biden transition did not answer. After reaching POLITICO, the username was changed to Cactus78910. One user later completely deleted the TPP section, but this did not appear to be politically motivated.
The changes made to the Zients Wikipedia page are hardly the first example of incoming Biden administration officials trying to scrub or refresh their online images, although one is more awkward.
A company founded by WestExec Advisors, Biden’s candidate for secretary of state, Tony Blinken, which also employed other incoming administrative officials, deleted some of their work on China from their website this summer before Biden became Democratic candidate, Free Beacon and The The Wall Street Journal found it. The cancellations occur when both sides have become more spooky in China.
Neera Tanden, who was knocked out by Biden as managing and budget director this week, appears to have cleaned up her Twitter feed and deleted more than 1,000 tweets last month before hearing the confirmation, the Daily Beast reported. “Obviously many people think #MoscowMitch is a threat,” the Democrats wrote in his now-deleted tweet using the bite of Senate majority leader Mith McConnell.
The sudden editing of the Wikipedia page could be a promising tea leaf that he is willing to get – or on the verge of – for a high-profile political post. In June, the Wikipedia page of elected Vice President Kamala Harris was much better edited than the other Vice Presidential candidates, and most of the edits were made by a single person, as The Intercept first reported.
While such steps seem obvious, previous social media entries have continued to provoke controversy for both Democrats and Republicans. Many of Trump’s political appointees have been reviewed over the past four years for previous racist or cospiratorial positions. Others were blackmailed because anti-Trump comments were made online before he was elected president. Several members of the Democratic pre-election were dismissed privately, publicly dismissed or not hired for posting.
While some Washington law firms specialize in “pre-examining” possible cabinet selections and guiding you through the confirmation process, two people familiar with the process say lawyers don’t usually take on tasks such as reviewing clients ’Wikipedia pages. Such work is more done by consulting firms.
But attorneys are advising clients on clearing the presence of social media – and that’s an increasingly time-consuming part of the process. “We see a lot more social media issues,” said James Joseph, tax attorney at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, who gave advice to clients and the democratic transition in auditing.