Chris Wylie, the former research director of the controversial data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, told the Washington Post that former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon oversaw the firm’s collection of Facebook data in 2014, before the firm was ever involved with President Trump‘s campaign.
In 2014, the year Wylie left, the firm tested messaging on terms that would become central themes of the Trump campaign: “drain the swamp” and “deep state.”
“We had to get Bannon to approve everything at this point. Bannon was Alexander Nix’s boss,” Wylie said.
“Alexander Nix didn’t have the authority to spend that much money without approval.”
Bannon served as vice president and secretary of Cambridge Analytica from 2014 to 2016, before joining the Trump administration in January of 2017.
He did not respond to a request for comment from the Post on the story.
The Hill added:
The firm is accused of covertly obtaining data from 50 million users that was compromised by a third party and using it during the campaign, despite just 270,000 users giving permission for their data to be stored.
The firm released a statement saying it “strongly denies” the reports that it used the data obtained as part of the services it provided to the Trump campaign.
“This Facebook data was not used by Cambridge Analytica as part of the services it provided to the Donald Trump presidential campaign; personality targeted advertising was not carried out for this client either. The company has made this clear since 2016,” Cambridge Analytica said.