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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

Updated 8 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.