New information from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has revealed that incoming national security adviser John Bolton’s super PAC tried to use data on Facebook users to make people more willing to support backing wars.
In an interview with the New York Times, Wylie says that Bolton’s PAC was alarmed by polling trends showing that more and more Americans viewed war unfavorably — and it wanted to construct an advertising campaign aimed at reversing those views.
“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” said Wylie, a data expert who was a key figure in the founding of Cambridge Analytica. “That really meant making people more militaristic in their worldview. That’s what they said they wanted, anyway.”
Bolton’s PAC hired Cambridge Analytica months after it was founded in 2014, and the firm’s work with Bolton’s group became an example that it used to pitch potential clients about the value of its data harvesting model.
Emails viewed by the Times suggest that former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon had some role in setting up contacts between Bolton and Cambridge Analytica, as an email from a Cambridge Analytica employee sent to Bolton specifically mentioned Bannon in its subject header.