Cambridge Analytica exec says they ‘ran all the digital campaign’ for Trump: report
An executive at Cambridge Analytica claims they ran all of President Trump’s digital campaign, Britain’s Channel 4 News reported.
An executive at the company talked about how their work contributed to Trump’s win of “40,000 votes” in three states, Channel 4 News reported, according to an undercover investigation.
“We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting. We ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy,” said CEO Alexander Nix, regarding Cambridge Analytica’s work for Trump.
Another executive, Mark Turnbull, managing director of the company’s political division, talked about how the firm could use “proxy organizations.”
“You feed them. They are civil society organizations,” he said.
“Charities or activist groups, and we use them — feed them the material and they do the work.”
“We just put information into the bloodstream, to the internet, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape. And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding — so it’s unattributable, untrackable.”
Turnbull also discussed during a meeting creating the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” brand of attack ads, according to Channel 4. The ads were funded by Make America 1 super PAC, according to the publication.
According to Channel 4 News, Nix also talked about how the company did not leave any paper trail.
“No one knows we have it, and secondly we set our … emails with a self-destruct timer … So you send them and after they’ve been read, two hours later, they disappear. There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing,” he said, according to the publication.
Nix was suspended by the research firm’s board of directors after a video published by Channel 4 that showed him talking about the use of bribes and prostitutes to sway political elections.
The board said in a statement that Nix would be suspended pending a “full, independent investigation.”
“In the view of the Board, Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation,” the statement says.
A self-described whistleblower on Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting practices is slated to give an interview to Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.
Facebook has been under fire since The New York Times and The Observer of London reported that Cambridge Analytica used personal data from roughly 50 million Facebook users for unauthorized political purposes. The firm reportedly received the data from a researcher.
Facebook’s stock price continued to fall Tuesday following the reports.
Shares of Facebook were down 5.7 percent by Tuesday afternoon, falling as low as $162, a nearly $10 drop. U.S. stocks on the whole gained throughout the day.
Updated at 3:35 p.m.