The CEO of Cambridge Analytica was secretly filmed offering to entrap politicians with bribes and sex workers

  • Channel 4 News secretly filmed Cambridge Analytica (CA) CEO Alexander Nix offering to entrap politicians with bribes and sex workers.

  • The bombshell investigation also shows CA admitting to discreetly seeding compromising videos of politicians on the internet and helping them go viral.

  • CA entirely refutes any allegation that it uses entrapment tactics.

  • It comes just days after the company was suspended by Facebook over a huge data scandal.

The CEO of Cambridge Analytica (CA), the Donald Trump-linked political research company at the centre of a massive Facebook data scandal, has been secretly filmed offering shadowy services to entrap politicians.

The bombshell footage was broadcast on Monday as part of an investigation by Channel 4 News and comes just days after CA was suspended from Facebook over a data incident involving 50 million US voters.

CA Chief Executive Alexander Nix and his colleagues were filmed by an undercover reporter over the course of four meetings between November 2017 and January this year. The Channel 4 News journalist posed as a fixer for a wealthy client hoping to get candidates elected in Sri Lanka.

In one exchange with Nix filmed in January, the CEO said CA could send a fake "wealthy developer" to Sri Lanka to offer incumbent politicians a "large amount of money" in a "deal that’s too good to be true," such as buying a plot of land.

"We’ll have the whole thing recorded on cameras, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the internet," Nix said on camera, adding: "These sorts of tactics are very effective, instantly having video evidence of corruption."

Business Insider approached CA for comment. The company told Channel 4 News that it entirely refutes any allegations that it entrapped politicians.

Offering bribes to public officials is an offence under both the UK Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. CA operates in the UK and is registered in the US.

At the same meeting at London's five-star Berkeley Hotel, Nix said CA could "send some girls around to the candidate’s house, we have lots of history of things." He added: "It was just an idea, I’m just saying, we could bring some Ukrainians in on holiday with us you know, you know what I’m saying."

Mark Turnbull, the managing director of CA Political Global, described the process by which the company goes through to discreetly seed compromising videos on the internet and help them go viral.

Turnbull Cambridge Analytica
Turnbull Cambridge Analytica

Channel 4 News

At a meeting in December, he told Channel 4's reporter: "We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again… like a remote control."

He also said: "It has to happen without anyone thinking, 'that’s propaganda,' because the moment you think 'that’s propaganda,' the next question is: 'Who’s put that out?'"

Channel 4 News' investigation also delves into how CA allegedly used "shadowy front companies" or sub-contractors to achieve its aims. You can watch excerpts from the secret filming below.

According to Channel 4 News, the executives also boasted that CA and its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories had worked in more than 200 elections across the world, including Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India, and Argentina.

Business Insider contacted CA more than two hours before the Channel 4 investigation was broadcast. A spokesman said it was "hard to reply to something we haven't seen." But Business Insider understands Channel 4 sent CA a 20-page document detailing the allegations and the contents of the undercover filming a week ago.

A CA spokesman told Channel 4 News: "We entirely refute any allegation that Cambridge Analytica or any of its affiliates use entrapment, bribes, or so-called 'honey-traps' for any purpose whatsoever." He added: "Cambridge Analytica does not use untrue material for any purpose."

The revelations follow former CA employee Christopher Wylie blowing the whistle on how the company harvested the Facebook data of 50 million US voters and used it to power software that helped target voters with personalised political advertising.

Channel 4 News will broadcast further allegations about CA's work for Donald Trump's presidential campaign later this week.

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