Here (Was Once) a Photo of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO With the Russian Ambassador to the UK

One of these men boasted of blackmailing politicians. The other is Putin’s representative.

Update, 3/22/18: The photographer, Tony Ramirez, has asked us to remove the photo of Alexander Nix and Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom. We have done so. The photo is now password-protected on the photographer’s website.

Original story: Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, made splashy headlines this week when Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast undercover video of Nix and a colleague boasting that their firm entraps politicians through sting operations using fake businessmen offering bribes and covert seduction schemes involving Ukrainian women. Nix’s company, which is best known for its work with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has also been in the news for sneakily acquiring data on as many as 50 million Facebook users for its own secretive purposes. Cambridge Analytica denied wrongdoing in the Channel 4 investigation. But the hidden-camera video was quite damning.

The footage, though, was a bit grainy. So here is a clearer shot of Nix, snapped during a polo match in which he played on July 28, 2016. He happens to be posing with Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom. The photo was taken days after Democratic National Committee files and emails hacked by Russian intelligence were dumped online by WikiLeaks at the start of the Democratic Party’s convention. The previous month, the Trump campaign had hired Nix’s company, and by this point, it had been widely reported that Russian intelligence was behind the DNC hack.

The photograph was part of a series of snaps on a website presenting polo photos for purchase.

Journalists, researchers, and congressional investigators have wondered about any ties between Cambridge Analytica and Russia. This photo is hardly evidence of an untoward connection. But last year a Huffington Post article on Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the super-wealthy, right-wing backers of Cambridge Analytica, did note that Rebekah, at one meeting with Nix, was highly impressed by Nix’s polo skills, gushing about his prowess and asking him to show cellphone photos of himself on horseback.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate