Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Says He Will Cooperate with Russia Probes

It was just one of several big revelations from Christopher Wylie.

On Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press,” former Cambridge Analytica staffer Christopher Wylie made a number of stunning revelations about the data mining firm hired by Trump during the 2016 election. Cambridge Analytica has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, following media reports that the firm improperly obtained the data of millions of Facebook users in order to use it to sway elections.

Wylie said on Sunday that the number of Facebook users whose data was gathered by the British firm could “absolutely” surpass the social media giant’s own estimate of 87 million. He also said that he is planning to fully cooperate with both congressional and justice department probes into Russian interference in the US election, and that he believes compromised Facebook data could be accessible to many people and stored in different countries, including Russia. 

Wylie has previously suggested in interviews with a number of media outlets that the Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica was used by the company to sway the 2016 election. “We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles. And built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons,” Wylie told the British Observer. “That was the basis the entire company was built on.”

Wylie’s statements come just days before Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify in Washington before three different congressional committees—first before a joint hearing of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees on Tuesday, and then again on Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It’s expected that he’ll be grilled about steps Facebook is taking to protect user data, and to prevent foreign powers from exploiting the platform to influence elections.

In recent weeks, Facebook has admitted that it learned that Cambridge Analytica was harvesting its users data more than two years ago. The company contacted the political research firm and Cambridge Analytica promised to delete the data. Facebook never followed up. In an NBC interview last week, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that the company should have gone public with the data breach earlier. 

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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