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Whistleblower: Bannon wanted to suppress black vote

Whistleblower: Bannon wanted to suppress black vote
© Greg Nash

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told Congress on Wednesday that the firm used by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE's campaign in 2016 engaged in "voter disengagement" tactics targeting black Americans.

In an interview with CNN after his testimony, Wylie said that Bannon, who held a position on the firm's board before joining the Trump campaign, directed the firm to research suppressing the vote among black Americans.

Other liberal demographic groups were also targeted, Wylie said.

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"Mr. Bannon sees cultural warfare as the means to create enduring change in American politics. It was for this reason Mr. Bannon engaged SCL [Cambridge Analytica's parent company], a foreign military contractor, to build an arsenal of informational weapons he could deploy on the American population," Wylie said Wednesday.

That information is then used to "discourage or demobilize certain types of people from voting," he added, including African-Americans, which Wylie says were particular targets of the operations.

During the hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wylie was asked by Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist The Senate needs to cool it MORE (D-Del.) whether Bannon's goal "was to suppress voting or discourage certain individuals in the U.S. from voting."

"That was my understanding, yes," Wylie replied.

Wylie made headlines earlier this year when he revealed that as many as 87 million people may have had their data harvested by Cambridge Analytica without their consent as a result of a third-party application.

The resulting press was devastating for Facebook and led to CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergFacebook executive hosted Kavanaugh confirmation celebration Hillicon Valley: Facebook rift over exec's support for Kavanaugh | Dem worried about Russian trolls jumping into Kavanaugh debate | China pushes back on Pence House Democrat questions big tech on possible foreign influence in Kavanaugh debate MORE's testimony on Capitol Hill. In early May, the data firm announced it was shutting down over the media coverage.