The Trump 2020 campaign just got caught hiring former Cambridge Analytica employees to work on the re-election campaign for the President. Today’s AP report also confirms that the RNC has given a contract for the mid-term elections to a top GOP operative involved in the theft of 87 million Facebook profile in conjunction with the Trump 2020 campaign.
Former Cambridge Analytica data scientist Matt Oczowski created a company called Data Propria and hired some of the bankrupt Cambridge Analytica’s former employees, then sold his company to the penny stock company CloudCommerce (CLWD).
Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale also sold his marketing company to CloudCommerce and now the two men are working together on CloudCommerce’s new data analytics division.
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Parscale denies that the Trump 2020 campaign’s current goal with Data Propria is to re-elect the President, but says instead to impact the 2018 mid-term elections. The AP reports:
“I am laser-focused on the 2018 midterms and holding the House and increasing our seats in the Senate,” [Brad Parscale] said. “Once we do those things, I’ll start working on re-electing President Trump.”
Both Oczkowski and Parscale told the AP that no Trump re-election work by Data Propria was even planned, but confirmed that Parscale had helped Data Propria line up a successful bid on 2018 midterm polling-related work for the RNC, awarded earlier this week. Oczkowski called the contract modest.
Of course, you can’t put much weight into a denial from anyone connected to the Trump campaign, least of all its campaign manager, who is raking in the cash through his deal with CloudCommerce.
Just this morning, another one of Trump’s former campaign managers, Paul Manafort, had his bail revoked for witness tampering and got sent to jail.
When first asked about a return to politics, Matt Oczowski lied the AP that he wasn’t going back into that line of work.
But a confidential source confirmed [sic] to the AP that his company is already working with Parscale on the Trump 2020 effort:
In addition, a person familiar with Data Propria’s Washington efforts, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect business relationships, confirmed to the AP that Trump-related 2020 work already had begun at the firm along the lines of Cambridge Analytica’s 2016 work.
Federal campaign law bars foreign nationals from holding key roles working on American campaigns.
The AP says that Data Propria hired Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data scientist, who presumably would be important to any data operations in the campaign.
Data Propria, of course, totally denies that they will avail themselves of the top expert on their staff while working for the Republican Party:
Among the former Cambridge Analytica employees is David Wilkinson, a British citizen who was the company’s lead data scientist. During the 2016 campaign, Wilkinson helped oversee the voter data modeling that informed Trump’s focus on the Rust Belt, according to a Cambridge Analytica press release issued after the election.
CloudCommerce itself is an unusual vehicle for a purportedly elite political consulting outfit to choose since its CEO Andrew Van Noy told a bankruptcy court in 2010 that he had been unemployed for 2.5 years at that point. In 2011, Van Noy told an investor suing him that he, “Luckily I have not had to go to the homeless shelter.”
The Trump 2020 Campaign is getting off to a fast start by hiring ex-staffers from the most infamous political dirty tricks outfit in modern times, some of whom could violate federal law, all to work for a dubious penny stock company that personally enriches campaign manager Brad Parscale.