ProTip: When discussing nefarious techniques to entrap politicians and swing elections, first make sure you’re not secretly being filmed.
That, apparently, was a memo the CEO of , Alexander Nix, missed. The executive was caught on film by investigators with London’s Channel 4 News discussing all the ways his company can influence elections around the world — and it’s not pretty.
The entire report is worth a watch (it’s embedded below), and it suggests that Nix’s own damning words will be held against him for some time. Just how bad are those aforementioned words? We’re glad you asked. In the video, Nix discussed bribing politicians while secretly filming them and sending Ukrainian escorts to the homes of political candidates.
“I mean, deep digging is interesting,” he observed in conversation with the undercover reporter. “But you know equally effective can be just to go and speak to the incumbents and to offer them a deal that’s too good to be true, and make sure that that’s video-recorded, you know. These sorts of tactics are very effective, instantly having video evidence of corruption, putting it on the internet, these sorts of things.”
And the fun times didn’t stop there. Nix mentioned that his company could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house. We have lots of history of things,” he noted, before adding that “I’m just saying, we could bring some Ukrainians in on holiday with us you know.”
Importantly, Cambridge Analytica denies that the recorded conversations actually mean what any viewer would naturally assume them to mean. Instead, the company insists that what we see is all part of it being a responsible corporate citizen.
“The report is edited and scripted to grossly misrepresent the nature of those conversations and how the company conducts its business,” the company stated in a press release.
Essentially, claims the company, Nix humored the undercover reporter and left the scene with the intention to never work with him.
“In playing along with this line of conversation, and partly to spare our ‘client’ from embarrassment, we entertained a series of ludicrous hypothetical scenarios,” Nix is quoted as saying in the press release. “I am aware how this looks, but it is simply not the case.”
While the truth of Nix’s claim is currently in doubt, it looks like he’ll have a chance to further explain himself — specifically, in front of Parliament. Damian Collins MP has “invited” Nix to speak.
“From the evidence that has been published by The Guardian and The Observer this weekend, it seems clear that [Nix] has deliberately mislead the Committee and Parliament by giving false statements,” Collins wrote in a statement. “We will be contacting Alexander Nix next week asking him to explain his comments, and answer further questions relating to the links between GSR and Cambridge Analytica, and its associate companies.”
If Nix does show up to testify, at least this time he’ll know he’s being recorded.