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 TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 CoonsSunday shows preview: Washington heads into multi-day shutdown Overnight Energy: Senators introduce bipartisan carbon tax bill | House climate panel unlikely to have subpoena power | Trump officials share plan to prevent lead poisoning Flake to co-introduce bipartisan climate bill 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 ZuckerbergChina and Big Tech pose threats to our democracy, but we have the power to regulate one Hillicon Valley: Apple woes raise stakes for trade deal | Zuckerberg wants public debate on tech in 2019 | Suspect arrested in German data leak | Watchdog wants investigation into Lieberman's work for Chinese firm ZTE Zuckerberg promises public discussions throughout 2019 MORE's testimony on Capitol Hill. In early May, the data firm announced it was shutting down over the media coverage.