Cambridge Analytica CEO reportedly emailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
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The head of one of the digital firms working for the Trump campaign reportedly asked Wikileaks founder Julian Assange about publishing Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
According to the story, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix relayed in an email – now in the possession of congressional investigators – to an unidentified recipient that he asked Assange about Clinton’s deleted emails. The same email exchange included Assange’s reply where he reportedly said he did not want Nix’s help.
Citing “two sources familiar with a congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin,” the outlet said that if true, the allegations would be the clearest link yet established between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.
Assange confirmed the exchange with Nix to The Daily Beast.
“We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks,” the statement reads.
Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond to Mashable‘s request for comment.
It’s unclear if Clinton’s email server containing the 33,000 messages was ever hacked, but Trump called out repeatedly during his campaign for someone to uncover them. He even asked Russia to find them, which he later told Fox & Friends was just him being sarcastic. Trump also praised Wikileaks while on the campaign trail after the site posted leaked emails from Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.
While Trump and his digital team have emphasized the importance of Facebook and Twitter to their victory, they did not tout the power of Cambridge Analytica. Yet, the firm itself heralded its work to collect data and use that for effective Facebook targeting on behalf of the Trump campaign.
“Cambridge Analytica was instrumental in identifying supporters, persuading undecided voters, and driving turnout to the polls,” the company wrote in a press release after Trump’s victory.
Other reports have suggested that the company’s data was not as powerful as the firm suggested. Citing three former Trump campaign aides, the New York Times reported that Cambridge’s models were “slightly less effective” than the existing Republican National Committee system.