Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended after video shows him saying firm ran Trump’s digital campaign

The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica claimed his company ran all the digital operations for the Trump campaign, according to a new report from UK’s Channel 4.

The new article and video were posted Tuesday afternoon. The CEO, Alexander Nix, was suspended with immediate effect, the company said.

In the video posted by Channel 4, Nix is heard saying that the company did much of the work behind Trump’s campaign, which resulted in a shocking upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November 2016.

“We did all the research, all the data, all the analytics, all the targeting,” Nix says on the video. “We ran all the digital campaign, the television campaign, and our data informed all the strategy.”

In a statement, Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Facebook ads for the Trump campaign, said it “never claimed” it won the election for the president. “This is patently absurd,” the company added. “We are proud of the work we did on that campaign, and have spoken in many public forums about what we consider to be our contribution to the campaign.”

Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, center, arrives at the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018.

Henry Nicholls | Reuters
Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, center, arrives at the offices of Cambridge Analytica in central London, Britain, March 20, 2018.

In a separate statement Tuesday, the company said that it had suspended Nix immediately, “pending a full, independent investigation.”

The firm added: “In the view of the Board, Mr. Nix’s recent comments secretly recorded by Channel 4 and other allegations do not represent the values or operations of the firm and his suspension reflects the seriousness with which we view this violation.”

The company said it would eventually share the findings of the independent investigation.

Neither the White House nor the Trump campaign immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

Cambridge Analytica is at the center of a user-data scandal involving FacebookThe social media giant’s stock has dropped this week after reports over the weekend said Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed 50 million Facebook users’ personal data.

Facebook said Tuesday that CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and their teams were “working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward” regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“The entire company is outraged we were deceived,” Facebook added. “We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens.”

President Donald Trump and Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon last year.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon last year.

Steve Bannon, who ran Trump’s presidential campaign in the 2016 stretch before becoming the chief strategist in the White House, is a former Cambridge Analytica executive. Conservative billionaire and Trump supporter Robert Mercer provided funding to found the firm. Bannon was ousted from the White House in August.

The revelations Tuesday were included in yet another part of a documentary about the company. The part released Monday showed footage of Cambridge Analytica executives suggesting that the company could use bribes, former spies and sex workers to help candidates win elections worldwide.

Channel 4 conducted a secret investigation of Cambridge Analytica, employing hidden cameras and recording equipment to catch executives saying scandalous things. The company has pushed back against the reporting, accusing reporters of tricks. Cambridge Analytica has also denied using the tactics described in the Channel 4 documentary.

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This article originally appeared on CNBC International

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