Tags: Trump Administration | kenneth braithwaite | navy secretary | cambridge analytica

Report Ties Navy Secretary Pick to Cambridge Analytica

cambridge analytica's former office in london
Cambridge Analytica's former office in London (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 20 January 2020 01:07 PM

President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Navy, U.S. Ambassador to Norway Kenneth Braithwaite, had a previously undisclosed contractual relationship with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, CBS News reports.

Former Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer resigned from the post two months ago due to his "lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher" with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, a Pentagon spokesperson told Navy Times in November. Esper then asked Trump to consider Braithwaite, a retired Navy rear admiral, for the post.

As part of the nomination process, Braithwaite is required to disclose any position, paid or unpaid, that he held outside the government within two years of being confirmed as ambassador. His agreement with Cambridge Analytica was not included on the disclosure form, but Braithwaite denies that his involvement with the firm is required in this case.

Cambridge Analytica came under fire after the 2016 election for a massive data intrusion of Facebook users worldwide. The Trump campaign employed the firm for digital marketing efforts.

Records obtained by CBS from former Cambridge Analytica business development director Brittany Kaiser show that Braithwaite had a one-year contract with the firm, from November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017, where he was referred to as an "associate officer" and a "referral partner." According to Kaiser, these titles are used for salesmen that the company uses to pitch its consulting work.

"In the summer and fall of 2016, I had discussions about consulting for SCL/Cambridge Analytica(CA), but by December 2016 it was clear that it would not work out for either party," he told CBS News in a statement. "I was never an employee of CA, never referred any potential customers to them and never received any compensation from the company… I decided to focus on other professional responsibilities and opportunities — including a possible post in the administration. On December 20, 2016, I terminated all contact with CA."

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President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Navy, U.S. Ambassador to Norway Kenneth Braithwaite, had a previously undisclosed contractual relationship with the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, CBS News reports.
kenneth braithwaite, navy secretary, cambridge analytica
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2020-07-20
Monday, 20 January 2020 01:07 PM
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