This was a fascinating look at Cambridge Analytica via former employee Christopher Wylie, who spoke at length with CNN's Don Lemon last night. (Watch the full interview here.)
He said very soon after he left, Alexander Nix was planning to meet with Corey Lewandowski, "before Trump announced he's running and when they were still working for Ted Cruz."
"I don't know why they had that meeting. You have to ask Cambridge Analytica that they were pitching," he said. "Why were they talking to Donald Trump before he even announced? How did they know he was running before he even announced and what is it if it wasn't for this data and fit wasn't for the algorithms, what it is you're pitching and using?"
Lemon asked what sort of messages they tested for Trump.
"So we were testing messages and all kinds of imagery that included, you know, images of walls, people scaling walls, you know, we tested draining the swamp," Wylie said.
"Testing ideas of the deep state and the NSA watching you and the government is, you know, conspiring against you. And a lot of these narratives which at the time would have seemed, you know, crazy for a mainstream candidate to run on. Those were the things that we were finding that there were pockets of Americans who this really appealed to. And Steve Bannon knew that. We were doing the research on it. And I was surprised when I saw, you know, the Trump campaign and it started talking about, you know, building walls or draining the swamp.
"I remember in my head, 'Wait, we tested this.' So you have to ask the company and Steve Bannon where they got these narratives. I know that we were testing the narratives well before Trump even announced."
"So you said that there was a Corey Lewandowski meeting before Trump announced he was even running. Do you know anything about that?" Lemon asked.
"Well, I have it confirmed from, you know, Cambridge Analytica's lawyers in writing they had a meeting in early 2015, in the spring of 2015 before they announced. I know that which I have again documented in writing that they were talking about the algorithms that they could offer and the data sets they could offer to Corey Lewandowski before Donald Trump even announced. and the bizarre thing about it is that they were already working for Ted Cruz.
"What it is they were pitching?"
Good question; I don't think we'll like the answer. Donald Trump is looking more like a Manchurian candidate by the day.