Channel 4 News has released the third part of the investigation into Cambridge Analytica which focuses on the data firm's role in the Trump campaign.
The British data company was secretly filmed discussing coordination between Trump’s campaign and outside groups – an activity which is potentially illegal.
Executives claimed they “ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy” for President Trump.
... [B]osses also talked about:
• The full scale of their pivotal work in Trump’s election win
• How they avoid Congressional investigations into their foreign clients
• Setting up proxy organisations to feed untraceable messages onto social media
• Using a secret email system where messages self-destruct and leave no trace
• Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the “Defeat Crooked Hilary” brand of attack ads
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix, who now has been suspended by his board, can be heard on camera bragging about his work for the president's campaign and his company's bad behavior.
Mr Nix boasted about Cambridge Analytica’s work for Trump, saying: “We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting, we ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign and our data informed all the strategy.”
In one exchange Alexander Nix revealed the company used a secret self-destructing email system that leaves no trace. He said: “No-one knows we have it, and secondly we set our… emails with a self-destruct timer… So you send them and after they’ve been read, two hours later, they disappear. There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing.”
Mr Nix also belittled representatives on the House Intelligence Committee to whom he gave evidence in 2017. He claims Republican members asked just three questions. “After five minutes – done.”
“They’re politicians, they’re not technical. They don’t understand how it works,” he said.
Mr Nix further claimed that Democrats on the Committee are motivated by “sour grapes”.
He said: “They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team.”
“So the candidate is the puppet?,” the undercover reporter asked.
“Always,” replied Mr Nix.
He added that his firm could avoid any US investigation into its foreign clients. “I’m absolutely convinced that they have no jurisdiction…,” he said. “We’ll say none of your business.”
A Cambridge Analytica spokesman is denying the claims heard on camera.
“CA has never claimed it won the election for President Trump. This is patently absurd. We are proud of the work we did on that campaign, and have spoken in many public forums about what we consider to be our contribution to the campaign.”
In secretly recorded conversations, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, claimed he had met Trump “many times”, while another senior member of staff said the firm was behind the “defeat crooked Hillary” advertising campaign.
“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape,” said the executive. “And so this stuff infiltrates the online community, but with no branding, so it’s unattributable, untrackable.”
Senior managers then appeared to suggest that in their work for US clients, there was planned division of work between official campaigns and unaffiliated “political action groups”.
That could be considered coordination – which is not allowed under US election law. The firm has denied any wrongdoing.
Exposed: Undercover secrets of Trump’s data firm (Channel 4 News)