The Trump campaign’s executive director and
digital director downplayed Cambridge Analytica’s work for the
campaign in separate remarks on Wednesday.
Their comments came hours after WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange confirmed in a tweet that the data firm’s CEO
reached out to him asking to help find Hillary Clinton’s
Key members of President Donald Trump’s campaign
team scrambled Wednesday to distance themselves from
the data mining and analysis company Cambridge
Analytica, whose CEO reportedly reached out to WikiLeaks founder
Julian Assange during the presidential campaign to offer help in
finding Hillary Clinton’s “missing” emails.
The Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016 to help
target ads using voter data collected from
approximately 230 million US adults.
But Michael S. Glassner, the executive
director of Trump’s campaign, said in a statement on Wednesday —
hours after The Daily Beast
reported on the data firm’s outreach to Assange — that the
only source of voter data that played a key role in Trump’s
election victory was the Republican National Committee.
“Leading into the election, the RNC had invested in the most
sophisticated data targeting program in modern American in
history, which helped secure our victory in the fall,” the
He added: “We were proud to have worked with the RNC and its data
experts and relied on them as our main source for data analytics.
We as a campaign made the choice to rely on the voter data of the
Republican National Committee to help elect President Donald J.
Trump. Any claims that voter data from any other source played a
key role in the victory are false.”
Brad Parscale, the digital director of the Trump campaign’s
entire data operation, similarly downplayed Cambridge’s
role in an interview
with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
“I have said from the beginning this” $5 million “Cambridge
invoice is mislabeled in the FEC reports,” Parscale said.
Parscale hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016, partly at
the urging former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who
was the former vice president of Cambridge’s board,
according to The New York Times.
Bannon was the Trump campaign’s CEO before he joined the White
Bannon was effectively ousted from the chief strategist
position over the summer. But he maintains a close
relationship with Robert Mercer, one of the biggest
investors in both Cambridge Analytica and the right-wing news
site Breitbart, which Bannon once again leads. Mercer and
his daughter Rebekah have been credited with paving the way to
It is still unclear how much Cambridge
Analytica actually did for the campaign. But Trump
campaign aides and even current and former Cambridge employees
have consistently tried to downplay its role.
“Cambridge executives now concede that the company never used
psychographics in the Trump campaign,” The New York Times
reported in March.
“The technology — prominently featured in the firm’s sales
materials and in media
reports that cast Cambridge as a master of
the dark campaign arts — remains unproved, according to former
employees and Republicans familiar with the firm’s work.”