Very Uncool and Very Illegal

 

With today’s revelation that Paul Manafort shared internal polling data with Russians, I thought I’d share a timeline I found from a woman named Susan Solomon.

Here it is posted in its entirety:

 

“Friends: As promised here is a timeline of events centering around Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the Trump campaign. Read it and you will see quite a disturbing story unfolding. Dots connect between CA, Russians, a tiny Canadian firm, Wikileaks, many in the Trump orbit, and billionaires such as Peter Thiel and Robert Mercer.

Keep in mind that this version just scratches the surface. The rabbit holes are endless – I had to stop myself or the project would become all consuming.

This is a work in progress and this is what I’ve got so far. Sources at the end. While I did my best to ensure accuracy, I often had to tease out dates from the context given, so feel free to help me fine tune dates if you find better info. Please feel free to share this.

FUN FACT to get you started: Cambridge Aanalytica  discovered that one of the best predictors of a Trump voter is someone who has a preference for U.S. made cars.”

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA – A TIMELINE

▪️1992: NIGEL OAKES, head of UK-based Behavioral Dynamics Institute (BDI), tells Marketing magazine: “We use the same techniques as Aristotle and Hitler.” “We appeal to people on an emotional level to get them to agree on a functional level.” (Politico; New Yorker)


▪️1993: NIGEL OAKES founds Strategic Communication Laboratories in London which becomes the SCL Group, a behavioral research and strategic communications company from which Cambridge Analytica will be formed. (SCL Website; SCL Group Wikipedia; Politico)


▪️1993-2013: The largest investor in the SCL Group is VINCENT TCHIENGUIZ – a billionaire property mogul with ties to PAUL MANAFORT through Manafort’s business partner, DMITRY FIRTASH. (Tablet 2; Medium—Seligman)


▪️2003: ALEXANDER NIX joins the SCL Group. Nix goes on to found Cambridge Analytica in 2013, an SCL Group subsidiary. (Guardian 2)


▪️2007: SCL Group wins defense contracts in the United States, and conducts surveys for the U.S. military in Iran and Yemen. (New Yorker)


▪️2012: SCL Group “more or less splits” with NIX taking the reins of SCL Elections which focused on election support work. It wins a series of election contracts that year, including in Guyana, Kenya, and Ghana. (New Yorker)


▪️2012: Cambridge University professor MICHAL KOSINSKI proves that using his MyPersonality app, database and algorithms, “on the basis of an average of 68 Facebook “likes” by a user, it is possible to predict their skin color (with 95 percent accuracy), their sexual orientation (88% accuracy), and their affiliation to the Democratic or Republican party (85%)” and also their intelligence, religious affiliation, as well as alcohol, cigarette and drug use and even deduce whether someone’s parents are divorced. (Motherboard/VICE)


▪️2013: NIX travels to the U.S. “He was very, very turned on by America,” an employee said. The US “was, like, the holy grail for him.” NIX pitched SCL’s services in the US, targeting “only Republican groups and donors.” (New Yorker)


▪️Late 2012/Early2013: CHRISTOPHER WYLIE is hired by SCL. Wylie would go on to regret his work at SCL/CA and become one of the main CA whistleblowers. (The Guardian 7)


▪️June 2013: ROBERT MURTFELD becomes a legal assistant at JULIAN ASSANGE’s law firm, Doughty Street Chambers, a position he holds until August 2015 when he leaves to work at Cambridge Analytica. At Doughty Street, “Murtfeld’s mentor had been John Jones, Q.C., who worked for Assange as well as for Liberian warlord Charles Taylor.” (Tablet)


▪️Autumn 2013: CHRISTOPHER WYLIE meets STEVE BANNON to discuss the capabilities of SCL. Bannon introduces NIX and WYLIE to ROBERT MERCER and pitches SCL and the idea of “cyberwarfare for elections” to ROBERT MERCER. (The Guardian 7; New Yorker)


▪️2013: STEVE BANNON encourages Trump to run for President. (Chicago Tribune 1)
▪️November 2013: Trump goes to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. (Russian Roulette)


▪️December 31, 2013: Cambridge Analytica is formed by ALEXANDER NIX (with the support of MERCER and BANNON) as an offshoot of SCL Group “to address the vacuum in the US Republican political market.” Mercer agrees to invest $5M in the company. Bannon will eventually join CA and become CHRISTOPHER WYLIE’s boss. Cambridge Analytica is incorporated in Delaware “in order to comply with U.S. election law,” but within SCL there is “no meaningful difference.” (The Guardian 1 and 7; Mother Jones; New Yorker)


▪️November 2013: AggregateIQ (AIQ), a Canadian data firm signs its first contract with SCL. FYI: Founders of AIQ are JEFF SYLVESTER — a friend of CHRIS WYLIE — and ZACK MASSINGHAM (CBC; The Guardian)


▪️March 2014: In an email to Cambridge Analytica CEO ALEXANDER NIX, a Cambridge Analytica employee mentions the work Soviet-born ALEKSANDR KOGAN is doing for Russia on data and social media. (The Guardian 3)


▪️Early 2014: Professor KOSINSKI is approached by colleague ALEKSANDR KOGAN inquiring into Kosinski’s method on behalf of a company (which he later confides is SCL) and asking for access to Kosinski’s MyPersonality database. Kogan says he cannot reveal for what purpose; he is bound to secrecy. Kosinski has a “bad feeling” about it and says no. (Motherboard) At that time Kogan was also doing data work for Russia. (The Guardian 3)


▪️Early 2014: It is believed that KOGAN effectively reverse engineers KOSINSKI’s work (Motherboard) presumably to take advantage of CA’s lucrative offer himself.


▪️June 2014: Cambridge Analytica retains the services of KOGAN through Kogan’s newly-formed company, Global Science Research (GSR). (MSNBC; The Guardian 7)


▪️June 2014: ROBERT MERCER invests heavily in Cambridge Analytica. (MSNBC; CBC)


▪️June 2014: BANNON joins Cambridge Analytica as vice president and board secretary, positions he holds through August 2016. (Bloomberg)


▪️[June 2014:] Cambridge Analytica begins testing slogans like “drain the swamp” and “deep state.” (CNN 2) SIDE NOTE: Cambridge Analytica’s MARK TURNBULL bragged that the firm also created the “crooked Hillary” moniker. (Channel 4)


▪️June – August 2014: Working on behalf of CA, KOGAN’s company GSR illegally harvests the private data of 50-60 million Facebook users through a personality test app called “thisisyourdigitallife.” The information harvested is used by CA without authorization according to Facebook to build a system that targets individual US voters. KOGAN is allowed to keep a copy of the harvested data. (The Guardian 2 & 7)


▪️Summer 2014: In addition to working with CA, KOGAN is also receiving grants from the Russia government and is working with students and researchers from St. Petersburg State University in Russia “to pursue a data-harvesting project similar to the one that produced the data he sold to Cambridge Analytica.” (CNN Money; The Guardian 3)


▪️July 2014: LAURENCE LEVY, an attorney at RUDY GUILIANI’s law firm, having been retained by REBEKAH MERCER, STEVE BANNON, and ALEXANDER NIX for advice on CA warns them “that foreign citizens could not play “substantive management” roles in the running of U.S. election campaigns unless they were permanent residents.” The legal memo is addressed to REBEKAH MERCER, STEVE BANNON, and ALEXANDER NIX. In the memo, legal counsel wrote Nix, a British foreign national, “would first have to be recused from substantive management of any such clients involved in U.S. elections.” (Washington Examiner; WaPo 3)


▪️July 2014: ALEXANDER NIX asks for a detailed presentation of Cambridge Analyticas’s work to share with VAGIT ALEKPEROV, the CEO of Russia’s huge oil company, Lukoil. VAGIT ALEKPEROV, “is a former Soviet oil minister who has said the strategic aims of Lukoil are closely aligned with those of Russia. “I have only one task connected with politics, to help the country and the company. I’m not close to Mr PUTIN, but I treat him with great respect,” he told the New York Times.” (The Guardian 3)


▪️2014-2015: SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica employees, “who often overlap, had contact…with executives from Lukoil.”“Lukoil was interested in how data was used to target American voters.” (NYT)


▪️Summer 2014: MICHAEL FLYNN gives an interview as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, highlighting data — particularly from social media sites such as Facebook — as having transformed intelligence-gathering, and predicting increased military spending around related data analytics work, creating a “gold rush” for contractors.” (Defense One; NY Books)


▪️Summer 2014: A few weeks after MICHAEL FLYNN gives the above interview, Flynn leaves the DIA to establish the “all-source” intelligence lobbying firm Flynn Intel Group Inc. (Defense One; NY Books)


▪️August 2014: JOHN BOLTON’s super PAC hires CA. Over the next two years, the ROBERT MERCER-supported PAC pays CA $1.2M for services such as “behavioral microtargeting with psychographic messaging.” CHRISTOPHER WYLIE says the data used for Bolton’s super PAC was derived from the illicitly mined Facebook data. (NYT 2)


▪️2014: Aggregate IQ (AIQ) presents RIPON to SCL, an app it developed for the US market. AIQ assigns all of its intellectual property to Cambridge Analytica. Employees view AIQ as an internal department of CA located in Canada. (New Yorker)


▪️2014: Cambridge Analytica assigns “dozens of non-U.S. citizens to provide campaign strategy and messaging advice to ­Republican candidates in 2014.” (WaPo 3)


▪️2015: Israeli hackers offer CA stolen personal emails of/about the future Nigerian president and future PM of St Kitts and Nevis. Some of such stolen data likely includes personal health information. ALEXANDER NIX asks his staff to find compromising info in the emails. CA denies using the emails. (Guardian 4)


▪️2015: VINCENT TCHENGUIZ sells his shares in SCL Group.
Side Note: The current SCL chairman JULIAN WHEATLAND, was formerly an executive of Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business Group. (Medium—Seligman)


▪️2015, pre-June: Cambridge Analytica representatives meet with soon-to-be Trump campaign manager COREY LEWANDOWSKI to offer their services.

▪️2015: KOGAN gets married, changes his last name to SPECTRE and moves to Singapore with his wife. She abruptly files for divorce after about two years later. (Motherboard; AsianMoneyGuide:90; NYT 2)


▪️June 2015: Trump announces he is running for president.


▪️June 2015: Trump campaign hires BRAD PARSCALE to help run the campaign’s digital operations under JARED KUSHNER. (MSNBC)


▪️July 2015: The TED CRUZ campaign begins working with Cambridge Analytica at the “suggestion” of Cruz’s biggest donors ROBERT and REBEKAH MERCER; The campaign pays the company a total of $5.8 million from July 2015 to June 2016 for services that included “voter ID targeting,” “voter modeling” and “survey research/donor modeling,” according to the campaign’s FEC reports. (Dallas News)


▪️August 2015: Former law clerk in JULIAN ASSANGE’s law firm, ROBERT MURTFELD, begins working at Cambridge Analytica. (Tablet 1)


▪️November 2015: NIGEL FARAGE announces he is commissioning CA to offer support for the Brexit digital campaign. (Motherboard) AggregateIQ is substantially involved in this effort with CA. (CBC) Aggregate IQ helped build CA’s tech platform. (Gizmondo)


▪️November 2015: A Belgian court orders Facebook to stop tracking NON-users, citing privacy law concerns. (The Guardian 5)


▪️December 2015: The CRUZ campaign credits their success so far on “psychological use of data and analytics.” (Motherboard)


▪️December 2015: Facebook learns via The Guardian in the first published report that Facebook data had been harvested on an unprecedented scale and is being used to support the campaign of TED CRUZ. Yet, Facebook does not alert users. (The Guardian 7)


▪️2015-2016: Mercer-backed Keep the Promise I/Make America Number 1 super PAC pays $1,476,484 to CA. “The PAC funded a series of pro-Ted Cruz ads during the 2016 presidential campaign. The PAC was also led by [KELLYANNE] CONWAY prior to her joining the Trump campaign.” Side Note: Read this CNN article to see the other GOP officials paying CA for services. (CNN 3)


▪️May 2016: Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee for president.


▪️June 9, 2016: DON JR., MANAFORT and KUSHNER attend the now infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials for dirt on Hillary.


▪️June 23, 2016: UK votes in favor of Brexit.


▪️July 2016: JARED KUSHNER, with input from BRAD PARSCALE, PAUL MANAFORT and STEVE BANNON hire Cambridge Analytica on behalf of the Trump campaign and embed about a dozen CA employees in the Trump digital campaign headquarters in San Antonio. The effort there is called Project Alamo. Facebook employees are embedded there as well, working side-by-side with the Cambridge Analytica employees. (Vanity Fair; MSNBC; Motherboard; Quartz)


▪️July 2016: CA’s ALEXANDER NIX contacts WikiLeaks founder JULIAN ASSANGE to ask for access to emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server. Assange claims he said no. (CNN)


▪️July 22, 2016: Wikileaks releases the first batch of DNC emails stolen by Russian hackers. (NBC)


▪️July 27, 2016: Trump calls on Russia to release Clinton’s emails during a press conference. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.” (Vox)


▪️August 16, 2016: BANNON joins the Trump Campaign. He says, “I never would have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn’t known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine.” “Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power.” (Bloomberg 2)


▪️August 2016: Facebook lawyers write to Christopher Wylie—a full two years after GSR/CA had illegally lifted the massive amount of private data on Facebook—and tell Wylie that the data must not be used and must be immediately deleted. At the time, Wylie is no longer at CA. (The Guardian 7)


▪️August 2016: Rebekah Mercer asks Nix if CA coud better organize the Hillary-related emails being released by Wikileaks. (WSJ)


▪️Late August/Early September 2016: Trump tweets, “Soon you’ll be calling me Mr. Brexit.” (Motherboard)


▪️September 2016: Former JULIAN ASSANGE law firm employee, ROBERT MURTFELD, is promoted to head of commercial sales at Cambridge Analytica. (Tablet 1)


▪️October 2016: FEC filings show that Facebook board member PETER THIEL gave $1M to the “Make America #1” PAC, a ROBERT MERCER PAC that paid Cambridge Analytica for its Trump campaign work. (FEC)


▪️Fall 2016: MICHAEL FLYNN is hired as a consultant by CA parent, SCL Group. (Chicago Tribune 2)


▪️November 2016: Trump wins the U.S. presidential election.


▪️January 2017: Trump is inaugurated.


▪️January – February 2017: SCL Group is awarded a contract with the State Department and in talks with the Dept. of Homeland Security, part of a new U.S. gov business development effort led by SCL’s JOSH WEERASINGHE and aided by Weerasinghe’s former colleague and then-Trump National Security Advisor, MICHAEL FLYNN. (WaPo 2)


▪️April 2017: BANNON sells his stake in CA, but does not disclose the sale until Nov. 2017. (McClatchy; Bloomberg)


▪️August 2017: Emerdata Limited is incorporated in the UK as a data processing business. SCL Group chairman JULIAN WHEATLAND and CA Chief Data Officer ALEXANDER TAYLER are identified initially as 25%+ owners. Wheatland is also listed [as a director as is Alexander Nix]. Wheatland used to work with former SCL Group investor TCHENGUIZ who has ties to PAUL MANAFORT. Some speculate Emerdata is formed to purchase SCL and CA assets and carry on— in a new corporate form with new branding — SCL and CA activities. (Medium—Seligman)


▪️2017-2018: ICE starts using backend Facebook data to locate and track immigrants that it is working to round up. Palantir, a “controversial data analytics firm” co-founded by Facebook board member PETER THIEL has contracted with ICE since 2014. Palantir “developed a special system for ICE to access a vast “ecosystem” of data to facilitate immigration officials in both discovering targets and then creating and administering cases against them.” (Intercept)


▪️November 2017–January 2018: Senior executives at Cambridge Analytica including ALEXANDER NIX are secretly filmed by Channel 4 operatives saying they “could entrap politicians in compromising situations with bribes and Ukrainian sex workers.” (Channel 4 2)


▪️February 2018: In an inquiry before British MPs, SIMON MILNER, Facebook’s UK policy director, and ALEXANDER NIX each tell the MPs that CA does not have Facebook data. (The Guardian 2 and 3)


▪️January 2018: A new filing shows ERIK PRINCE’s close business partner, JOHNSON CHUN SHUN KO as a new Director of Emerdata, along with two other new Directors. (Medium-Seligman; Business Insider; WaPo)


▪️March 2018: Facebook suspends SCL Group and CA, including KOGAN and NIX.


▪️March 2018: CA suspends NIX pending an investigation into the allegations against it. (WaPo)


▪️March 2018: ROBERT MERCER’s daughters REBEKAH and JENNIFER join the board of Emerdata. (Business Insider)


▪️March 2018: Hillary Clinton tells Channel Four News: “The real question is how did the Russians know how to target their messages so precisely to undecided voters in Wisconsin or Michigan or Pennsylvania – that is really the nub of the question.” She continues: “So if they were getting advice from say Cambridge Analytica, or someone else, about ‘OK here are the 12 voters in this town in Wisconsin – that’s whose Facebook pages you need to be on to send these messages’ that indeed would be very disturbing.” (Telegraph)


▪️March 23, 2018: British authorities raid the CA offices in London. (The Daily Beast)


▪️March 26, 2018: First lawsuits filed in the U.S. against CA and SCL. (ABC News)


▪️March 27, 2018: CHRISTOPHER WYLIE appears before UK lawmakers. His testimony is stunning. Among other things, he says that AIQ was a money laundering scheme and that employees of PETER THIEL’s Palantir were working with CA on the Facebook data at the CA offices w/o a contract, helping to create the models.

 

Just in case, you’re wondering what’s taking Bob Mueller so long.