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CA Whistleblower: Why Did Lukoil Need Data On Online Trolling?

More scary information about how the 2016 election was played.
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Cambridge Analytic whistleblower Christopher Wylie just flew to the U.S. to meet with members of the House to tell them important information -- like the fact that Steve Bannon ordered the staff to study ways to suppress voter turnout and test messaging on Putin.

No Republicans showed up for the meeting.

"I'm disappointed. I flew across the Atlantic. I'm from Britain. I wanted to help American lawmakers understand what happened," Wylie said.

Cuomo asked what he saw that gave him concern about wrongdoing.

"First of all, the primary story that is being reported, misappropriated Facebook [data] is genuinely concerning and exposed a lot of issues in relation to privacy is and security concerns and how it can be misused by actors in foreign elections," Wyle said.

"And more broadly, the relationships that the company Cambridge Analytica had with Russian actors, who had Dr. Kogan, the professor who managed the Facebook harvesting program, working on Russian projects in Russia on online trolling -- which is concerning given what you saw in the American election.

"And also, this is a company that was, you know, in close contact with Lukoil, the second largest oil company in Russia, talking about data harvesting, psychological profiling, revealing the fact that have a massive, this large data set on on Americans, and made it known to a company that had has formal information sharing agreements with the FSB. When you look at some of the message testing..."

"You're talking about when Bannon was testing out in terms on of softening up core support for their opponents," Cuomo said.

"It is where you look at different issues you may want to run on on in the campaign and you test the response and you figure out who is interested in it and who isn't," Wylie replied. "Some of the message testing that Cambridge Analytica did before the 2016 election involved testing opinions on Vladimir Putin, testing opinions on expansionism in eastern Europe. Putin was the only foreign leader this company tested."

"As far as you know?" Cuomo said.


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"At least when I was I there. That was true during the extent that I was there," Wylie said.

"He was the only foreign leader that we had tested at the time I was there. And for me, that's concerning. I think that when you look at what happens in the American election and you look at the current investigation into Russian interference, this is a company that was making a lot of noise about data. The algorithms it had amassed would have been incredibly useful to a foreign agent if they were so inclined to use it. And so the reason I'm here is to talk to both Congress and law enforcement, you know, to make it -- to hand over evidence."

Cuomo said Wylie wasn't there during any process of the campaign. "How could you know what was done or not done that was right or wrong? fair criticism?" he said.

"Well, let me just make it clear. I haven't claimed to know definitively what happened in the 2016 cycle. I didn't work on the Trump campaign and I haven't made any of those claims," Wylie said.

"What I have provided is the evidence of what I saw during the creation and foundation of this country and also the general strategy that this company embarked on. And when you look at some of the message testing that was done, a lot of the narratives were things that were being tested by this company in 2014."

Cuomo said this kind of testing isn't unusual. Wasn't that what CA was doing?

"Why test views on Russian influence? Vladimir Putin wasn't running but he was a significant part of the research. That isn't standard opposition research. I'm not making any claims how that was used in 2016. What I'm saying is that to me creates reasonable suspicion that should be investigated. That's why I'm here -- so an investigation can be had."

"The suggestion that Bannon was trying to find ways to soften support for Clinton, you can argue that's really part of the job of running a campaign. That's why I draw the distinction," Cuomo said.

"Professor Kogan said you laid out the terms of the services that he would provide there so whatever he was doing. You must have been fine with because you gave him basically his job descriptions. Is that fair?"

Wylie said he's been "quite open" about this.

"I haven't hid from the fact that I played a role in setting up Cambridge Analytica. One of the reason why I am whistle blowing, I think some of the mistakes I have made should be corrected and more broadly how this company got set up, I'm concerned about. I was there and I saw it and I played a role in it."

"Was your attempt when you were playing out the specs with Kogan to get information from people like me that you should not have is?"

"The intent was to get a large amount of data quickly. One of the things that Steve Bannon wanted for the midterms in 2014 which gave us several months. But in terms of my own responsibility in that project, I have accepted my share of responsibility. And let me just make clear, like, I was the one who went to the authorities. I handed over all the evidence to the authorities. I reported well before the story was made public. I worked with the British authorities to start their investigation. It wasn't Dr. Kogan or Cambridge Analytica and it certainly wasn't Facebook."

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