alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

John Bolton Has a Sinister Tie to Cambridge Analytica

New information from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has revealed that incoming national security adviser John Bolton’s super PAC tried to use data on Facebook users to make people more willing to support backing wars.


In an interview with the New York Times, Wylie says that Bolton’s PAC was alarmed by polling trends showing that more and more Americans viewed war unfavorably — and it wanted to construct an advertising campaign aimed at reversing those views.

“The Bolton PAC was obsessed with how America was becoming limp wristed and spineless and it wanted research and messaging for national security issues,” said Wylie, a data expert who was a key figure in the founding of Cambridge Analytica. “That really meant making people more militaristic in their worldview. That’s what they said they wanted, anyway.”

Bolton’s PAC hired Cambridge Analytica months after it was founded in 2014, and the firm’s work with Bolton’s group became an example that it used to pitch potential clients about the value of its data harvesting model.

Emails viewed by the Times suggest that former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon had some role in setting up contacts between Bolton and Cambridge Analytica, as an email from a Cambridge Analytica employee sent to Bolton specifically mentioned Bannon in its subject header.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close