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Steve Bannon delivering a speech during the French far-right National Front party's annual congress on 10 March
Steve Bannon delivering a speech during the French far-right National Front party's annual congress on 10 March
Image: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Steve Bannon tries to distance himself from Cambridge Analytica

“Facebook data is for sale all over the world,” Trump’s former chief strategist said.
Mar 23rd 2018, 12:52 PM 15,424 44

STEVE BANNON HAS tried to distance himself from the ongoing Cambridge Analytica (CA) controversy.

Bannon is a former vice-president and board member of the political consultancy firm, best known for its involvement in Donald Trump’s US presidential election campaign, which has been at the centre of a data mining controversy in recent days.

According to the New York Times and Britain’s Observer and Guardian newspapers, CA stole information from 50 million Facebook users’ profiles in the tech giant’s biggest-ever data breach, to help them design software to predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, CA’s chief executive Alexander Nix has been suspended after being secretly filmed by Channel 4 allegedly touting the use of bribery and entrapment to swing elections.

The Guardian reports that, speaking at a conference in New York, Bannon said neither he nor CA had anything to do with “dirty tricks” in the use of information harvested from Facebook.

“Facebook data is for sale all over the world,” Bannon stated, later adding that he “did not remember” being part of any scheme to buy data that came from Facebook for use in election propaganda.

‘Lost his mind’ 

Bannon served as Trump’s chief strategist for the first seven months of his presidency, but relations between the two men have since soured.

In a book by journalist Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which was published in January, Bannon is quoted as describing a meeting between Trump’s son Don Jr and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.

After extracts of the book were leaked, Trump denounced its contents as false and called Bannon “sloppy Steve”, stating: “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Read:  ‘Appearances can be deceptive’ – CEO falls on sword, but did Cambridge Analytica swing the US election for Trump?

Read: Steve Bannon steps down from Breitbart News amid Trump row

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Órla Ryan

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