Data scientist who worked with Cambridge Analytica offers to testify to Congress

Data scientist who worked with Cambridge Analytica offers to testify to Congress
© Getty Images

The data scientist who provided data on millions of Americans to the data firm Cambridge Analytica offered Monday to testify before Congress, following reports about how that data was used to help elect President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE in 2016.

"I've also seriously been asked if the FBI has reached out, if the two congressional committees in the United States have reached out, and if Parliament or any authorities in the [United Kingdom] U.K. have reached out. No one has — I suspect they realize I'm actually not a spy. Though if anyone does, I'd be more than happy to testify and speak candidly about the project," Aleksandr Kogan said in an email obtained by CNN to colleagues at Cambridge University. 

"It's been honestly a surreal week," Kogan said in the email. "I've been asked quite seriously by reporters from the NY Times and the Guardian if I am a Russian spy. I really tried to explain that one seems just silly. If I am Russian spy, I am the world's dumbest spy."

The firm is under intense scrutiny after The New York Times reported on Saturday that it had extracted private information of more than 50 million people from Facebook, and then used the data to help the Trump campaign through influencing voter behavior. 

It is not clear how effective those efforts were. 

Facebook said that Kogan told the company it was gathering information for academic purposes, and that he violated Facebook policy by giving the data to Cambridge Analytica. 

Kogan and Cambridge Analytica were suspended from Facebook on Friday. 

"We never claimed during the project that it was for academic research. In fact, we did our absolute best not to have the project have any entanglements with the University," Kogan wrote in the email. 

"Facebook at no point raised any concerns at all about any of these changes," he continued. 

Cambridge Analytica said on Saturday it deleted the information Kogan had provided after it became known he did not follow Facebook's policies.