Visitor logs from the Ecuador embassy appear to show that Brittany Kaiser, a director at Cambridge Analytica until earlier this year, visited Assange on February 17, 2017.
Kaiser allegedly has funneled money to WikiLeaks in the form of cryptocurrency. She called the organization her “favorite charity”. The reports passed to investigators say that money was given to her by third parties in the form of “gifts and payments”.
@carolecadwalla This report is false. WikiLeaks has no knowledge of donations from either party mentioned, did not have a meeting to discuss the US election and was not approached by Murtfeld or anyone connected to him.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 6, 2018
Alexander Nix, the company’s chief executive, told Westminster MPs the same in February, during an appearance at the Commons digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee.
Nix said he found a contact for WikiLeaks’ speaking agency on the internet and sent Assange an email. Nix is due to appear before the DCMS committee for the second time at 3 pm on Wednesday, where he is expected to be pressed on Cambridge Analytica’s relationship with WikiLeaks.
However, Kaiser has contested the story, saying that she did meet with Assange, but only in a personal capacity.
“This was . . . after the election and a long time after Clinton’s e-mails were leaked,” she told the Financial Times. “I went to go see [Assange] with no agenda. I was there for 20 minutes. Most of the time he was speaking at me. He talked about the upcoming change in government in Ecuador and how he was worried about that. He talked about the implications of the change in government in the U.S. We never at any point discussed business.”
She added that the cryptocurrency she allegedly sent WikiLeaks consisted of a $200 donation she made in 2011 when she was a law student. Kaiser’s lawyers now say they’re filing a complaint against The Guardian over its story.
Along with Kaiser, WikiLeaks has pushed back on the story, calling it “false.” “WikiLeaks has no knowledge of donations from either party mentioned, did not have a meeting to discuss the US election and was not approached by Murtfeld or anyone connected to him,” the organization tweeted.
The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, has problems enough on its hands, without the suggestion that one of its former employees engaged in some kind of quid pro quo. In addition to questions about how it stored and used data from tens of millions of Facebook users, the company is facing a dispute with investors, who claim Nix embezzled $8 million on his way out the door.
Cambridge Analytica announced in May that the firm would shut down due to the negative press it received after it was reported that the firm obtained the private information of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge or consent before the 2016 election.