The CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm in which Steve Bannon has a stake, approached Julian Assange last year offering to help WikiLeaks release emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Assange verified the contact by Alexander Nix to the Daily Beast, noting he rebuffed the offer. “We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks,” Assange said.
While the hack of the missing 30,000 emails has never been confirmed, they were hotly debated during the 2016 presidential campaign with then-candidate Donald Trump famously saying, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
Cambridge Analytica, which has been widely credited with helping Trump gain the presidency, is handing over relevant documents to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as it probes potential collusion between Russia and members of the Trump team.
The company, whose investors include not only Bannon but also billionaire and Trump supporter Robert Mercer, amassed and analyzed data from numerous sources, including social media, to develop psychological profiles of voters. Since, more recently, Facebook and other social media firms have uncovered evidence that Russia used their platforms to spread propaganda and influence the 2016 presidential election, lawmakers are taking a closer look at Cambridge Analytica.