Despite it being October 2017, the 2016 election seems to live on. It seems like not a month goes by without some new revelation regarding the campaign. It was recently reported that the Clinton campaign helped finance the research of the famous Steele dossier. Of course, opposition research is nothing new. Every presidential campaign does it, but Trump recently took to Twitter to spin the announcement as if he were the victim of some terrible crime.
It might have worked since, to people who don’t closely follow politics, the news might paint Trump in a sympathetic light. Unfortunately for Trump, CNN recently revealed a bit of interesting information about his campaign’s own opposition research. It has been reported that the head of Cambridge Analytics, which worked on Trump’s campaign, reached out to Julian Assange of Wikileaks in order to gain information regarding the emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.
Alexander Nix, Cambridge’s Chief Executive, emailed several people, including Trump-donor Rebekah Mercer, to discuss the possibility of obtaining those emails to turn them into a searchable database to create anti-Clinton material for political action committees or the Trump campaign itself. It should be noted that there is no evidence that any official members of Trump’s campaign were involved in this email chain.
Assange himself took to Twitter to confirm that this outreach did happen though he stated that Nix’s request was denied by Wikileaks.
While it does not appear that Nix’s firm obtained any of the leaked emails, his willingness to reach out to Assange raises new questions surrounding the Trump campaign. Furthermore, it comes at a time when Trump really doesn’t need the negative attention. Robert Mueller is already investigating members of his campaign in regards to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Regardless of whether or not the Trump campaign had anything to do with Nix’s decision, it paints them in a bad light and Trump’s already looking pretty bad.
It should also be noted that in July of last year, Trump himself called for Wikileaks to release Clinton’s emails saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That’ll be next.”
Featured image via Getty Images.