Election 2016

Cambridge CEO: We Ran Trump’s Campaign, Trump Was a Puppet

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

London's Channel 4 news has aired the second part of their investigation of Cambridge Analytica, the data firm behind Trump's 2016 campaign.

The latest set of undercover videos includes clips of Cambridge executives Alexander Nix and Mark Turnbull boasting that they ran Trump's entire campaign and even crafted the "Crooked Hillary" nickname that Trump is still using in 2018.

They had an entire operation dedicated to smearing Clinton called "Defeat Crooked Hillary."

The brand was 'Defeat Crooked Hillary.' You'll remember this of course? Crooked Hillary and the zeros, the OO of crooked were a pair of hand-cuffs and it was all about she belongs behind bars. [...] And then, we put, made creative hundreds of different kind of creative and we put it online.

Channel 4 reports that Cambridge was also heavily involved in the campaign to turn supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton with the goal of depressing Democratic turnout. Cambridge created anti-Hillary, pro-Bernie ads that the GOP megadonor Mercers funded through a third party called "Make America Number 1" which was actually just Cambridge using a fake name.

Later in the video report, CEO Alexander Nix boasts that Trump and his campaign did exactly what they was told. Like a puppet.

The board of Cambridge has now suspended CEO Alexander Nix. I was going to say they clearly need to fire Mark Turnbull as well, but what would be the point of that when the whole company needs to be go. Burn it all down to the ground.

  • Scopedog

    Hillary was right–Trump really was the puppet.

    But, you know…her emails.

  • muselet

    A lot of that “we were in charge” stuff is hot air, a couple of sleazebags bragging and taking credit for someone else’s success. A lot, but not all. Their prepackaged malarkey certainly had some effect around the edges.

    Channel 4 has done teriffic work on this story and deserves all the applause it’s getting. Whether this makes campaign data firms less slimy or just causes them to go deeper underground is an open question.

    Regardless, Cambridge Analytica needs to go out of business, and everyone who ever worked for CA richly deserves not to work in the field—or handle personal or confidential information—ever again.


  • gescove

    These revelations are stunning. The long and sordid history of Republican ratf*cking – Atwater, Rove, Luntz, Segretti, Stone, O’Keefe to name just a few – has metastasized into a shockingly virulent cancer fueled by millions (billions?) of dollars of dark money and soulless tech enablers. F*ck these people and the data they rode in on. I need a very large and very stiff drink.