The Trump Campaign’s main data firm just got caught seeking help from Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange to obtain Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails and gain an advantage in the 2016 election.
Alexander Nix, the CEO of information technology firm Cambridge Analytica made an offer to Julian Assange in providing assistance in the distribution of those emails.
The Daily Beast reports exclusively (video below) that a newly leaked email showing the communications between Cambridge Analytica – which is partially owned by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon and Trump donor Robert Mercer – and Assange, who is a foreign national ineligible to coordinate activities with the Trump Campaign. They wrote:
Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data-analytics firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails.
Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the WikiLeaks editor release Clinton’s missing emails, according to two sources familiar with a congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin. (CNN later reported Cambridge backer Rebekah Mercer was one of the email’s recipients.) Those sources also relayed that, according to Nix’s email, Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own.
The Wikileaks founder has been holed up in Ecuador’s tiny London embassy since 2012 to avoid questioning on rape charges in Sweden, where he remains to this day.
Julian Assange confirmed the communications between Nix and himself in a tweet.
I can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica [prior to November last year] and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks.
— Julian Assange ???? (@JulianAssange) October 25, 2017
While Assange claims that he turned down the request for assistance from Cambridge Analytica, it’s hard to give his claim any credibility in light of his obvious role in the 2016 elections as a conduit to distribute emails stolen from Democrats.
Republican nominee Donald Trump mentioned Wikileaks a whopping 137 times by name during the final stretch of last year’s election. ThinkProgress cited over 160 times that Trump mentioned either Wikileaks or the stolen emails from Democrats that Assange’s website distributed.
Cambridge Analytica played a key role in the campaign’s data analytics management, which campaign staffers revealed included office space inside the campaign’s San Antonio operations. The Wall Street Journal explains:
Cambridge Analytica began the 2016 campaign working for presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), whose campaign paid the company $5.8 million from July 2015 through June 2016, according to campaign finance records. The Trump campaign began paying the company the following month, in July 2016, and ultimately paid it more than $5 million, much of which was for a TV ad buy that September. The Trump campaign’s first payment to the firm was July 29, 2016, the last day of the Democratic convention.
Cambridge Analytica offers analysis related to the personalities and values of voters. The firm is partly owned by billionaire Robert Mercer, Rebekah Mercer’s father, whose family began backing Mr. Trump in the election around the same time the Trump campaign hired the company.
It’s illegal for a federal campaign to solicit anything of value from a foreign national, yet today’s news indicates that the CEO of the Trump Campaign’s most strategically important vendor did just that.
There’s mounting evidence that the Special Counsel’s investigation of Russian collusion allegations could bear fruit.
But the revelation that a company owned by President Trump’s former campaign chairman Steve Bannon and top backers the Mercer family is beginning to place a microscope on to the Trump Campaign with a trail leading straight to the White House.
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) October 25, 2017