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The Facebook logos. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said in an internal Dec. 30 post that he thinks Facebook was responsible for Donald Trump getting elected, "but not for the reasons anyone thinks," the New York Times reports.

What he's saying: "He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica," Bosworth wrote. "He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period."

  • Bosworth said that Trump and his campaign manager Brad Parscale "did unbelievable work" in 2016 and that "they just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each person."

Context: Bosworth is a trusted lieutenant of CEO Mark Zuckerberg who now heads up the firm's AR/VR hardware projects.

His post went on to note that as a liberal who donated to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, he finds himself "desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result" — but he cannot endorse taking that action, despite the temptation.

"I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment. Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to [Galadriel] and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her. As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear."
— Bosworth's Dec. 30 post, as obtained by the NYT

What's new: In a public Facebook post made Tuesday afternoon in response to the NYT's article, Bosworth released his original Dec. 30 statements and said several comment threads from his colleagues had changed his views, though he did not specify how.

  • He called for more discussion around other topics Facebook feels it is falling short of "that should be a focus in 2020."
  • Facebook confirmed to Axios that Bosworth's public post to the site on Tuesday was the company's response to the NYT piece.

Go deeper: Zuckerberg’s power to hurt Trump

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

Mitch McConnell's remarks on Black voters raise ire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Capitol Hill news conference earlier this year. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been widely criticized for comments he made this week about Black American voters.

Driving the news: When asked by a reporter Wednesday about concerns among voters of color, McConnell said "the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, Black American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump’s friends worry legal pick for N.Y. case lacks experience

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Close associates and advisers to Donald Trump tell Axios they're concerned by his decision to use a relatively inexperienced New Jersey attorney, Alina Habba, in his high-stakes legal fight against New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Why it matters: A former president typically has access to the country's most prestigious experts, including lawyers. Trump has turned to the former general counsel for a parking garage company, who works from a small law office near his Bedminster, N.J., country club.