Former employees of Cambridge Analytica, the political firm that went down in flames over how it acquired Facebook users’ data, is now working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to the Associated Press.
Cambridge Analytica’s former head of product, Matt Oczkowski, leads Data Propria, the new firm that is quietly working with Trump’s 2020 campaign. Ex-Cambridge Analytica’s former chief data scientist is also with Data Propria.
Oczkowski denies working for Trump’s 2020 campaign, but he did say that the firm is doing 2018 work for the Republican National Committee. AP, however, got confirmation from at least four ex-Cambridge Analytica employees working with Data Propria:
The AP learned of Data Propria’s role in Trump’s re-election effort as a result of conversations held with political contacts and prospective clients in recent weeks by Oczkowski and Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale. In one such conversation, which took place in a public place and was overheard by two AP reporters, Oczkowski said he and Parscale were “doing the president’s work for 2020.”
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.
Interestingly enough, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, is a part owner of a publicly traded firm called Cloud Commerce, Data Propria’s parent company. Cloud Commerce bought Parscale’s digital marketing business in August. AP notes that Cloud Commerce has rebuilt itself around Parscale’s former company over the past year, and has rebranded itself as Parscale Digital.
It gets seedier:
Parscale sits on Cloud Commerce’s board of directors and provides the company with the majority of its $2.9 million in revenue, according to the company’s most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Even though Parscale is not directly receiving money from Data Propria work, he owns a stake equivalent to 22 percent of the company’s current equity and Cloud Commerce is obligated to pay him roughly two million dollars in special dividends and debt payments related to the purchase of his old business.
Oh, and there is this:
An AP investigation of Cloud Commerce in March found that a former CEO of its predecessor firm pleaded guilty to stock fraud in 2008 and remained active in Cloud Commerce’s affairs until at least 2015. Cloud Commerce says the man has had no connection with its business since at least 2011.
Yeah, this stinks of something extremely bad, and it is happening in broad daylight. Maybe Trump will be impeached before 2020 so we won’t have to endure any more of his very shady business dealings and those of his underlings.
Until then, expect more seedy connections to Trump like this to make headlines and be ignored by his base, who are still stuck on Hillary Clinton’s emails.