In recent days, the Trump team has had to face yet another scandal involving the belligerent businessman’s rise to power. A report in The New York Times detailed how Cambridge Analytica — a firm employed by the Trump team –had managed to obtain the Facebook profile information of tens of millions of people, all of which was fed into their data driven campaigning model.
This report, which has culminated in ramifications for the firm, including Britain’s Information Commissioner seeking a warrant to seize their servers, comes as the Trump team continues to face questions about its connection to Russian interests that sought to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Although the Trump team is the major, well-known interest facing multiple concurrent investigations into possible connections to Russia, it’s not alone in having employed Cambridge Analytica.
Before the controversial firm entered the belligerent businessman’s service, it worked for Ted Cruz, GOP Senator from Texas and failed presidential candidate.
The Cruz team insists, in the face of scrutiny, that they didn’t know that the data firm they were employing was carrying on in such a manner as reported recently by The Times.
Speaking to The Dallas Morning News, Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier insisted that the contract the Texas Senator’s team signed with the firm during his presidential run included claims “that all data used by them were obtained legally, that they would conduct their operations ‘in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,’ and that they ‘hold all necessary permits, licenses and consents to conduct its operations.'”
‘The campaign relied upon those representations.’
After initial press reports all the way back in 2015 about the firm possibly using data it had obtained “illicitly” — data reported to be far narrower in scope than the realities of what they’d collected — Frazier said that again, the Cruz campaign went with Cambridge Analytica on the issue, choosing to believe their insistence that the allegations in the press were “false.”
As it turns out, however, dismissing negative or incendiary news reports as “fake news” doesn’t work. Someone should get that message to Donald Trump.
In the face of the new reports about Cambridge Analytica, Texas Democrats slammed Cruz, insisting that he reveal when exactly he became aware of the fact that the firm employed by his campaign had engaged in “deceitful activity.”
Texas Democrats are running Rep. Beto O’Rourke against Cruz in the midterm elections later this year; it’s still an open question whether or not he will be able to pull off a win against the radical conservative favorite Cruz.
Interestingly, some of the $5.94 million in total that the Cruz campaign paid Cambridge Analytica likely went right back into the pocket that it came out of, since the Mercer family was a big backer of both interests.
The Cruz campaign’s final payment to the firm in question came in June 2016, after he had already withdrawn from the presidential race, and payments to the firm began from the Trump team the month after that.
As mentioned, questions associated with Cambridge Analytica are hardly the only ones the Trump team is facing over its rise to power. For instance, in recent months, it’s been revealed that federal authorities are looking into whether or not Russian money was funneled to the Trump campaign through the National Rifle Association.
They’re also looking into possible illegal foreign money from other sources through such means as adviser to the United Arab Emirates government George Nader.
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