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CEO of Cambridge Analytica Alexander Nix speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit. Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Suspended Cambridge Analytica (CA) CEO Alexander Nix said his firm "ran all the digital campaign" for President Donald Trump and played a crucial role in Trump winning the electoral college by a margin of 40,000 votes in three states, reports the UK's Channel 4 News. While being secretly recorded by an undercover reporter, Nix and other CA executives discussed how they acted as a conduit between the Trump campaign and outside super PACs — which is illegal under U.S. election law.

Highlights from the Channel 4 report:

  • CA executive Mark Turnbull discussed how the firm spearheaded a "Defeat Crooked Hillary" ad campaign, which was funded by the Make America Number 1 super-PAC and watched more than 30 million times.
  • Turnbull also described how the company fed negative opposition material to proxy organizations: "Sometimes you can use proxy organizations who are already there. You feed them. They are civil society organizations.. Charities or activist groups, and we use them – feed them the material and they do the work…"
  • Nix said the firm uses a secret self-destructing email system that leaves no trace: "No-one knows we have it, and secondly we set our… emails with a self-destruct timer… So you send them and after they’ve been read, two hours later, they disappear. There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing."
  • Speaking about his appearance in front of Congress, Nix said, "They’re politicians, they’re not technical. They don’t understand how it works...They don’t understand because the candidate never, is never involved. He’s told what to do by the campaign team."
    • When asked, "So the candidate is the puppet?" by the undercover reporter, Nix replied, "Always."

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.