Weeks after the 2016 election, the CEO of the parent company of Cambridge Analytica compared president-elect Donald Trump’s propaganda tactics to those of Adolf Hitler.
SCL group head Nigel Oakes said Trump created an “artificial enemy” in the form of Muslims and ISIS. He made the remarks during a Nov. 24 interview with an academic researching media and the election.
“It’s the things that resonate — some of those to attack the other group and know that you’re going to lose them is going to reinforce and resonate your group,” said Oakes in audio newly released by the UK government, reports Business Insider. “Of course, Hitler attacked the Jews. He didn’t have a problem with the Jews at all, but the people didn’t like the Jews. He can just use them … he just leveraged an artificial enemy. Well, that’s exactly what Trump did. He leveraged a Muslim.”
“How big a threat is ISIS to America, really? We’re still talking about 9/11; 9/11 was a long time ago.”
Cambridge Analytica is the data-mining firm that improperly harvested the personal information of more than 87 million Facebook users via a personality quiz, using it to create psychological profiles of voters to target them with pro-Trump, anti-Clinton messaging during the 2016 election. Republican mega-donors and Trump supporters Robert and Rebekah Mercer were the primary funders of the company.
It’s unclear how much Cambridge Analytica was used by the Trump campaign. But a whistleblowing former employee said that as far back as 2014, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon used Cambridge Analytica to test phrases later used by Donald Trump, such as “drain the swamp.”
A spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica said that Oakes “never had any role at Cambridge Analytica, has never worked for Cambridge Analytica and did not work on the Trump campaign in any way whatsoever.”