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Trump's new national security adviser was an early client of Cambridge Analytica

John Bolton's super PAC was "obsessed with how America was becoming limp-wristed and spineless"

President Donald Trump’s brand-new national security adviser, it turns out, was an early adopter of Cambridge Analytica’s profiling services.

John Bolton — the former U.S. ambassador and current Fox News pundit named to the NSA post Thursday — founded a political action committee and became one of Cambridge Analytica’s first customers in 2014, hiring the British data firm to gather and exploit the psychological profiles of millions of Facebook users, according to company documents and former employees who spoke to the New York Times. CA is now at the center of a widening scandal for Facebook over its handling of user data in the 2016 election.


“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp-wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” Christopher Wylie, a member of the founding team at CA, told the Times.

Bolton is Trump’s third national security adviser, replacing H.R. McMaster, who resigned on Thursday.

The Trump campaign team also used Cambridge Analytica in its quest for the White House. The Guardian obtained a copy of a document outlining how CA claims it won the presidency for Donald Trump. According to the presentation, which can be viewed here, Cambridge Analytica used survey data to target 10,000 ads — viewed billions of times — to different people before the election.

Cambridge Analytica is at the center of a widening scandal for Facebook, following an undercover report by Channel 4 which showed the company’s executives boasting about running the Trump digital campaign in its entirety and using shady tactics to avoid paper trails and congressional oversight. The firm illicitly obtained the data of some 50 million Facebook users, according to numerous reports. After a prolonged silence on the matter, CEO Mark Zuckerberg essentially likened the data harvest to a data breach.

“I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again,” Zuckerberg wrote.

“I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform.”

Zuckerberg said on CNN that he would be “happy” to testify before Congress — and that’s a good thing for him, because Congress has asked him to do just that. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, a panel that’s supposed to keep Facebook and other tech giants in check, officially requested Zuckerberg testify.

“Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that he would be willing to testify if he is the right person,” said Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, the panel's chairman, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, the panel’s top Democrat, in a statement. “We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people. We look forward to working with Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg to determine a date and time in the near future for a hearing before this committee.”

The FTC and the ICO, the UK’s data protection agency, are both conducting investigations into Cambridge Analytica’s dealings. The latter is in the process of obtaining a warrant to investigate Cambridge Analytica’s headquarters.