Top Maxine Waters Staffer Lobbied For Chinese Communist Party Military

The National Pulse – by Natalie Winters

Dana Thompson, a former Legislative Director and Chief Counsel to Rep. Maxine Waters, registered as a lobbyist on behalf a host of Chinese Communist Party-linked entities, The National Pulse can reveal.

Thompson, who also served as Chief of Staff for Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, was a former Principal at lobbying behemoth Podesta Group before co-founding Fulcrum Public Affairs, the “only 100% Black and Latinx-owned government relations firm in Washington, DC.”

While at the Podesta Group, the project of Democratic heavyweights John and Tony Podesta, Thompson registered to lobby on behalf of three Chinese Communist Party-linked entities: a controversial telecommunications company, a military proxy, and a propaganda laundering initiative.

His firm at the time, the Podesta Group, made millions from the connections he garnered at taxpayer expense while working in the office of Waters, who ranks one of the “most corrupt members of Congress.”


Over the course of four years, the firm raked in roughly $2,200,000 for conducting lobbying efforts on behalf of ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company designated as a “national security threat” by the Trump administration.

According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, ZTE retains “close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus.” The company, whose largest shareholder is a Chinese state-owned enterprise, was also fined $1.3 billion by the Trump administration to reverse a ban it received for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Despite these ties, for the entire year of 2016, Thompson lobbied on behalf of ZTE on the issue of “U.S.-China trade relations,” ostensibly bolstering ZTE’s ability to access the U.S. market.


In less than two months, Thompson led the Podesta Group to make $40,000 from Vertex Railcar Corporation, a jointly owned Chinese-American railcar manufacturer.

The controversial company, however, is backed by the Chinese government’s China Railway Construction Corporation (CRRC), which has been identified by the U.S. Department of Defense as a proxy of the Chinese military for over two decades.

While the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy, the same year Thompson lobbied for Vertex it was under intense scrutiny from lawmakers in the House and Senate for being a “tool” in the Chinese Communist Party’s “international trade agenda” and endangering national security through intellectual property theft.

Thompson, however, assisted the companies on “issues related to railcar manufacturing.”

China-U.S. Exchange Foundation.

From 2015 to 2017, Thompson’s firm made nearly $900,000 dollars lobbying on behalf of the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The lobbying registration describes Thompson assisting with matters related to “U.S.-China relations.”

CUSEF, however, is a Chinese Communist Party-funded propaganda initiative chaired by Tung Chee Hwa, the vice-chairman of CCP advisory body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a former head of Hong Kong.

The foundation is a registered Chinese foreign agent that often targets American universities with offers to fund policy research, high-level dialogues, and exchange programs.

Many schools, including the University of Texas at Austin, have divested from CUSEF in light of these ties.

The National Pulse

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