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CEO of data firm that aided Trump reached out to Assange in June 2016: report

CEO of data firm that aided Trump reached out to Assange in June 2016: report

The head of Cambridge Analytica reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange just as the data mining firm began working for President Trump’s campaign, The Wall Street Journal is reporting

News surfaced last month that Alexander Nix, the company’s CEO, reached out to Assange about the emails that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE deleted from the private server she used while secretary of State in the Obama administration during the 2016 presidential race. 

According to the Journal, Nix said Thursday that he initiated the contact in “early June 2016” after seeing a report that WikiLeaks intended to publish Clinton-related emails. 

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“We received a message back from them that he didn’t want to and wasn’t able to, and that was the end of the story,” Nix reportedly said at an event in Lisbon, Portugal.

Neither Cambridge Analytica nor representatives for Assange returned requests for comment.

Last month, a representative for Assange confirmed the outreach from Cambridge Analytica before November 2016, but said the request for information was “rejected.” The spokesman did not confirm the content of the request. 

According to campaign finance records, the Trump campaign made its first payment, totaling $100,000, to Cambridge Analytica on July 29, 2016. The campaign paid the firm $5.9 million for data management services over the course of roughly five months, records show. 

Cambridge Analytica has links to Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, who once served on its board, and to Trump backer and billionaire Robert Mercer. 

The data analytics firm’s initial outreach to the Trump campaign began in May 2016, according to the Journal, and Cambridge eventually sent a contract to the campaign on June 13 that was signed six days later. 

WikiLeaks published troves of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee as well as Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta ahead of the November 2016 election. Later, the U.S. intelligence community linked the stolen emails to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the presidential election. Assange has denied ties to Russia. 

The House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference, has requested information from Cambridge Analytica in connection with the probe, the company confirmed last month.