At the same time that Cambridge Analytica announced that the company suspending Alexander Nix, the CEO of the firm, Channel 4 News released another report regarding the company based on various undercover videos. In the second report, it shows some executives of Cambridge Analytica claiming that their work was responsible for the “narrow victory” of Trump by 40,000 votes in three states.
In the video, Nix said: “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 a quote that may likely be more relevant because of the ongoing investigations, he also said that the company uses “self-destructing email” so it can avoid leaving any trace of its communications. In his words, the candidate (for example, Trump) is “always” the puppet, informed by his campaign team what to say and do, while the politicians who asked questions after the fact were not technical enough to understand what actually happened.
Executives of CA took specific responsibility for the propaganda targeting Hillary Clinton, and Buzzfeed has revealed some of the ads. While Alexander Tayler, the chief data scientist of CA who is currently acting as the CEO after the suspension of Nix, talked about the utilisation of PACs as untraceable sources of negative campaign messaging, the Make America Number One PAC that is behind these ads worked in exactly the manner that was described, uploading various videos to Facebook for targeted advertising, while also widely posting them as links from YouTube.
As a response, Cambridge Analytica maintained their stance that the use of encrypted communications is a “common practice,” and said that the company has “been completely transparent about our simultaneous work on both political campaigns and political action committees (including publicly declaring our work on both with FEC filings).”