Whistleblower: Cambridge Analytical Worked to Suppress Voter Turnout

Former Cambridge Analytical researcher Christopher Wylie says the firm spread information geared to keeping African-Americans away from the polls

It looks like Cambridge Analytica was doing a lot more than collecting personal information about millions of Americans and using it to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica researcher-turned-whistleblower, told senators on Wednesday that his former employer’s data collection was focused on keeping African-American voters from participating in the 2016 election.

Cambridge Analytica would target anybody with “characteristics that would lead them to vote for the Democratic party, particularly African-American voters,” Wylie charged. The strategy was to “exploit certain vulnerabilities in certain segments to send them information that will remove them from the public forum, and feed them conspiracies and they’ll never see mainstream media,” he said.

Wylie said the voter suppression campaign was one of the reasons he left Cambridge Analytica. “If it suited the client’s objective, the firm [SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company] was eager to capitalize on discontent and to stoke ethnic tensions.”

You can read Wylie’s full testimony here.

Cambridge Analytica, funded by conservative billionaire and Republican donor Robert Mercer, was connected to the Trump campaign through Steve Bannon, who was editor of the Breitbart News, and vice president of Cambridge before signing on as Trump’s campaign manager in the summer of 2016. Mercer also has been a major financial underwriter for Breitbart, which Bannon once described as a platform for the political alt-right, a conservative and white supremacist movement.

Wylie said Bannon wanted to foment “cultural warfare as the means to create enduring change in American politics.”

Bannon went on from the campaign to serve as Trump’s chief strategist in the White House until last summer, when he was dismissed after being quoted saying derogatory things about the president. He returned to Breitbart, only to be pushed out there.