Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, donated $250,000 to a pro-Lindsey Graham super PAC as his company’s deal to partner with TikTok was in the final stages, according to a report from The Verge.
According to documents from the Federal Election Commission, Ellison made the donation to the pro-Graham PAC Security is Strength on September 14.
As The Verge noted that the donation came just hours after Oracle announced it had edged out Microsoft to become TikTok’s US technology partner amid the ongoing political drama surrounding its Chinese owner.
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Larry Ellison, the founder, board chairman, and chief technology officer of Oracle, donated $250,000 to a pro-Lindsey Graham super PAC in September as the deal for the company to become the US technology partner of TikTok closed, The Verge reported.
The donation was made to The Security is Strength PAC, which has exclusively supported Graham’s political ambitions, according to The Verge report Saturday.
According to filings from the Federal Election Commission, Ellison made the donation on September 14 — the same day Oracle confirmed it had won a bid to become the US “technology partner” of TikTok, beating out Microsoft, which had been believed to be the front runner.
A spokesperson for Oracle did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on Saturday. A spokesperson for Graham’s campaign told The Verge on Saturday it — by law — had “no affiliation” with the super PAC.
TikTok has garnered bipartisan concern as a result of its ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance. US officials have feared the company may share users’ data with the Chinese government. TikTok has long denied the allegations.
The app over the summer came under the crosshairs of President Donald Trump, who in August issued two executive orders targeting the app, aiming to force a sale to a US company or to shut the app down in the US. A download ban on TikTok, announced by the Commerce Department in September, was halted late last month by a federal judge just hours before it was set to take effect.
As The Verge noted, Graham, who is currently in a heated race for reelection, was reportedly instrumental to the deal. However, it’s not clear whether he was specifically involved in choosing which company was chosen to acquire a stake in the popular video-based app, according to the report.
“If TikTok is saved, you can thank me,” the South Carolina Republican said in an August interview with Vanity Fair.
Following the announcement of the deal with Oracle, Trump said he gave the deal his “blessing,” although the specifics of the deal have been muddled in confusion since it was first announced last month. Following its announcement, Graham tweeted his support for the deal.
“Great decision by President Trump to approve the sale of TikTok to Oracle and Walmart,” he said. “Great for American consumers who are being protected from the Chinese Communist Party. Well done, Mr. President.”
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