Don't these people know when to shut up?
Top execs of Cambridge Analytica were supposedly top experts in dirty tricks but they fell for a hidden camera sting.
Britain's Channel 4 News, in conjunction with The Observer, got Cambridge CEO, Alexander Nix, to boast about the company's prowess at manipulating elections, even "honey pot" operations to manufacture incriminating evidence against target politicians.
The company’s head of data, Alex Tayler, added: “When you think about the fact that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3m votes but won the electoral college vote that’s down to the data and the research.
“You did your rallies in the right locations, you moved more people out in those key swing states on election day. That’s how he won the election.”
Another executive, Mark Turnbull, managing director of Cambridge Analytica’s political division, was recorded saying: “He won by 40,000 votes in three states. The margins were tiny.”
Turnbull took credit for one of the most well known and controversial campaigns of the last presidential campaign, organised by the political action group Make America Number 1.
“The brand was ‘Defeat Crooked Hillary’. You’ll remember this of course?” he told the undercover reporter. “The zeros, the OO of crooked were a pair of handcuffs ... We made hundreds of different kinds of creative, and we put it online.”
Turnbull said the company sometimes used “proxy organisations”, including charities and activist groups, to help disseminate the messages – and keep the company’s involvement in the background.
When the undercover reporter expressed worries that American authorities might seize on details of a dirty campaign, Nix said the US had no jurisdiction over Cambridge Analytica, even though the company is American and is registered in Delaware.CEO Nix Steps In It - Again
Nix also implied that it was possible to mislead authorities by omission, discussing his appearance in front of the House intelligence committee, for its inquiry into possible Russian election meddling.
The Republicans only asked three questions, which took five minutes, he told the reporter. And while the Democrats spent two hours questioning him, he claimed they were so far out of their depths that he didn’t mind responding.Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, is in full-bore damage control mode, announcing it has "suspended" CEO Alexander Nix. Sorry guys, a bit late for that.
“We have no secrets. They’re politicians, they’re not technical. They don’t understand how it works,” he said, when asked about whether he was forced to testify.
He went on to describe how political candidates are manipulated.
“They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team.” The reporter asks if that means the candidate is just a puppet, and Nix replies simply: “Always.”