Executives from Cambridge Analytica, the Trump campaign’s embattled data firm, got caught on hidden camera bragging about how they illegally coordinated messaging between his 2016 Republican presidential campaign and pro-Trump SuperPACs. (video below)
The first video hit the news Monday morning and immediately went viral on social media. By the end of today’s business day today, Cambridge was forced to suspend its CEO, Alexander Nix, as public outcry grew to a tidal wave and lawmakers from both the United States and the United Kingdom demanded answers.
In the video, the talkative British executives spilled the beans to UK’s Channel 4 News in an undercover sting, revealing how they coordinated with independent expenditure groups run by Trump mega-donor Robert Mercer’s company and the Trump campaign, all highly illegal activities.
Nix even bragged to one of the undercover journalists that the company controlled virtually every aspect of the Trump Campaign, all the way down to where his infamous hate rallies would be held.
This latest revelation comes hot on the heels of another embarrassing video undercover video leak Monday, where Nix is caught explaining his companies’ illegal methods and tactics to a journalist posing as a Sri Lankan politician soliciting their services.
U.S Special Counsel Robert Mueller has targeted Nix as well, who’s already admitted to trying to collaborate with Wikileaks to distribute emails pilfered from the Democratic National Committee by Russian intelligence services.
Dr Tayler, Cambridge Analytica’s chief data scientist, is heard on the video saying, “As part of it, sometimes you have to separate it from the political campaign itself. So in America you know there are independent expenditure groups running behind the campaign… Super PACs. Political action committees.
“So, campaigns are normally subject to limits about how much money they can raise,” he continued. “Whereas outside groups can raise an unlimited amount. So the campaign will use their finite resources for things like persuasion and mobilization and then they leave the ‘air war’ they call it, like the negative attack ads to other affiliated groups.”
“In a different meeting, Mr. Turnbull described how the company created the ‘Defeat Crooked Hilary’ brand of attack ads,” Channel 4 News reports. Those ads were paid for by the Mercers’ Make America Number 1 super-PAC and received over 30 million views throughout the campaign.
More from Channel 4 News:
Coordination between an official election campaign and any outside groups is illegal under US election law. Cambridge Analytica deny wrongdoing, insisting a strict firewall separated out their activity and that they were transparent about their work on political campaigns and PACs.
The non-profit Campaign Legal Center told Channel 4 that they filed federal elections complaints with the FEC based upon Cambridge Analytica’s admissions to their journalists.
In four secretly recorded meetings, the Cambridge Analytica execs bragged about gaming the American elections system so finely that they were responsible for the 40,000 vote margin by which Trump won the electoral college after massively losing the popular vote.
That might explain how Trump’s outside groups coordinated so closely with a totally disorganized campaign which the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner infamously said could not collude with itself.
Meanwhile, the Trump team’s vendors in London were busy violating the few remaining federal regulations on dark money in political campaigning in a very deliberate fashion to create the vehemently incendiary anti-Hillary campaign aka voter suppression programs.
Mr Turnbull described how the company could create proxy organisations to discreetly feed negative material about opposition candidates on to the Internet and social media.
He said: “Sometimes you can use proxy organisations who are already there. You feed them. They are civil society organisations.. 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.”
It’s shocking to watch Trump’s primary data company brazenly boast to their newest clients about committing serious election crimes in 2016. but it’s not altogether surprising that the Bannon-linked company broke SuperPAC coordination laws.
President Trump is desperate to shut down investigations into his campaign not just because he must know by now that his election win was built on a pile of felonies but also because it would unmask his political impotence in the worst way.
“They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team,” said Cambridge Analytica’s suspended CEO.
“So the candidate is the puppet?” Channel 4’s reporter asked, whereupon Alexander Nix emphasized to the undercover cameras, “Always.”
While Nix is certainly giving himself far too much credit, showing off for what he thought was a prospective client, it’s clear that something very shady was afoot – and we deserve to know what really happened behind the scenes in the 2016 election.
Watch Channel 4’s amazing undercover journalistic scoop:
Author: GRANT STERN – Washingtonpost.com