Did Ron DeSantis Receive Help from Cambridge Analytica?
John Bolton’s PAC — One of Cambridge Analytica’s First Customers — Endorsed and Donated to Ron DeSantis
On Friday, The New York Times reported that newly minted Trump national security advisor John Bolton’s PAC — which endorsed Ron DeSantis’ run for Senate and donated to his Congressional campaign fund — was one of Cambridge Analytica’s first customers. According to the Times, Cambridge Analytica used stolen Facebook data to help Bolton’s PAC design candidate advertising.
TheTimes report raises the possibility that Ron DeSantis’ Senate and Congressional campaigns benefitted from stolen Facebook data. DeSantis’ political campaigns received both the endorsement of, and $15,000 in donations from Bolton’s PAC. Bolton has a long record of praising DeSantis and both men have styled themselves as war hawks and die-hard supporters of President Trump.
“Floridians deserve to know whether Ron DeSantis’ campaigns ever have used or benefitted from stolen Facebook data.” said FDP spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “The close financial and political ties between John Bolton’s PAC and Ron DeSantis raise the chilling prospect that the DeSantis campaign may have used stolen Facebook material in 2015 and 2016. DeSantis should immediately disclose whether stolen Facebook data was used to help any of his political campaigns.”
RON DESANTIS’ TIES TO JOHN BOLTON AND CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
JOHN BOLTON’S SUPER PAC WAS ONE OF CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA’S EARLIEST CUSTOMERS
Bolton’s Super PAC Was One of the Earliest Cambridge Analytica Customers. According to the New York Times, “The political action committee founded by John R. Bolton, President Trump’s incoming national security adviser, was one of the earliest customers of Cambridge Analytica, which it hired specifically to develop psychological profiles of voters with data harvested from tens of millions of Facebook profiles, according to former Cambridge employees and company documents. Mr. Bolton’s political committee, known as The John Bolton Super PAC, first hired Cambridge in August 2014, months after the political data firm was founded and while it was still harvesting the Facebook data.” [New York Times, 3/23/18]
Bolton’s PAC and Cambridge Analytica Helped Design Candidate Advertisements. According to the New York Times, “Using the psychographic models, Cambridge helped design concepts for advertisements for candidates supported by Mr. Bolton’s PAC, including the 2014 campaign of Thom Tillis, the Republican senator from North Carolina, according to Mr. Wylie and another former employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being dragged into the investigations that now appear to be engulfing Cambridge.” [New York Times, 3/23/18]
Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower: Bolton’s Data and Modeling Program Were Derived From Stolen Facebook Data. According to the New York Times, “‘The data and modeling Bolton’s PAC received was derived from the Facebook data,’ said Christopher Wylie, a data expert who was part of the team that founded Cambridge Analytica. ‘We definitely told them about how we were doing it. We talked about it in conference calls, in meetings.’” [New York Times, 3/23/18]
DESANTIS RECEIVED THE BACKING OF BOLTON AND HIS PAC
In June 2017, John Bolton PAC Donated $5,000 to Ron DeSantis for Florida. [Ron DeSantis for Florida FEC Report, 6/29/17]
2012: Bolton Hosted Fundraiser for DeSantis’ Congressional Campaign. “DeSantis also has the support of former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who held a Washington fund-raiser for him.” [Florida Times-Union, Web Edition Articles, 7/26/12]
John Bolton Endorsed DeSantis’ Senate Candidacy And Promised To Donate $10,000 To His Campaign. “The aforementioned Mr. Bolton — the man who endorsed 87 ‘national security’ candidates and donated close to $500,000 during the 2014 midterms — is back in action. He’s announced his endorsement of Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana in his gubernatorial quest in the state; of Rep. Ron DeSantis, the incumbent congressman from Florida’s 6th District; and of Paul Chabot, candidate for Congress in California’s 31st District. Mr. Bolton’s political action committee will donate $10,000 each to Mr. Vitter and Mr. DeSantis, while Mr. Chabot will receive $5,000. All three are military veterans.” [Washington Times, 3/12/15]
John Bolton Endorsed DeSantis For “Raising Alarms About The Iran Nuclear Framework That Would Pave Iran’s Path To The Bomb” And For Being “A Major Critic Of The Obama Administration’s Absurd Cuba Policy.” “Former Amb. John Bolton, who is looking at running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, threw his support behind U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’, R-Fla., campaign to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. in the Senate. Rubio is running for the Republican presidential nomination. ‘I strongly endorse Congressman Ron DeSantis for the United States Senate,’ Bolton said on Wednesday. ‘America needs principled leaders like Ron standing up for America’s national security interests in Congress. Ron supports a strong national defense and has been forceful in raising alarms about the Iran nuclear framework that would pave Iran’s path to the bomb. He is a stalwart defender of Israel as well as a major critic of the Obama administration’s absurd Cuba policy. For Republicans who want America to remain strong at home by being strong abroad, and for those who recognize that we must remain ever vigilant in the defense of liberty, Congressman Ron DeSantis is the choice for U.S. Senate.’” [Sunshine State News, 5/7/15]
Former Ambassador John Bolton Endorsed A DeSantis Senate Bid And Praised DeSantis’ Understanding Of The Middle East And Strong Criticism Of President Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy. “DeSantis, an Iraq veteran and tea party favorite, so far looks most likely to run. John Bolton, George W. Bush’s U.N. ambassador, endorsed his candidacy Tuesday with a statement praising DeSantis’ understanding of the Middle East and strong criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. The Tea Party Express political committee also issued a statement touting DeSantis.” [Tampa Bay Times, 4/14/15]