John Bolton, Trump’s new adviser, reportedly hired Cambridge Analytica

Bolton's Super PAC hired the data firm in 2014.

Mar 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

The political action committee founded by President Donald Trump's new national security adviser John Bolton hired Cambridge Analytica months after it reportedly harvested data on more than 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge. 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA) Cambridge Analytica/YouTube

The political action committee founded by President Donald Trump‘s new national security adviser John Bolton hired Cambridge Analytica months after it harvested data on more than 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

The John Bolton Super PAC hired the firm in August 2014, the New York Times reports, and spent approximately $1.2 million over the next two years for “survey research” including getting “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging” with the use of Facebook data, according to a contract the Times obtained.

“The data and modeling Bolton’s PAC received was derived from the Facebook data,” Christopher Wylie, a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower told the newspaper. “We definitely told them about how we were doing it. We talked about it in conference calls, in meetings.”

Bolton’s PAC was “obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless,” Wylie told the Times, adding that they wanted to make people more “militaristic in their worldview.” The data was used to create advertisements for Republican candidates.

Cambridge Analytica has come under fire in the past week after reports surfaced that it collected data on millions of Facebook users through an app on the social media giant called “thisisyourdigitallife” that collected information on the friends of people who downloaded it. The firm was hired by Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to do work for them.

The blowback has included on lawmakers calling for hearings on the matter. The data firm also suspended its CEO Alexander Nix after reports surfaced of him discussing political tactics with an undercover reporter.

Trump announced late on Thursday that Bolton, who has argued publicly for a preemptive war with North Korea, would be replacing H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser.

You can read all of the New York Times report here.

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*First Published: Mar 23, 2018, 3:18 pm