Here (Was Once) a Photo of Cambridge Analytica’s CEO With the Russian Ambassador to the UK

One of these men boasted of blackmailing politicians. The other is Putin’s representative.

Update, 3/22/18: The photographer, Tony Ramirez, has asked us to remove the photo of Alexander Nix and Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom. We have done so. The photo is now password-protected on the photographer’s website.

Original story: Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, made splashy headlines this week when Britain’s Channel 4 News broadcast undercover video of Nix and a colleague boasting that their firm entraps politicians through sting operations using fake businessmen offering bribes and covert seduction schemes involving Ukrainian women. Nix’s company, which is best known for its work with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has also been in the news for sneakily acquiring data on as many as 50 million Facebook users for its own secretive purposes. Cambridge Analytica denied wrongdoing in the Channel 4 investigation. But the hidden-camera video was quite damning.

The footage, though, was a bit grainy. So here is a clearer shot of Nix, snapped during a polo match in which he played on July 28, 2016. He happens to be posing with Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom. The photo was taken days after Democratic National Committee files and emails hacked by Russian intelligence were dumped online by WikiLeaks at the start of the Democratic Party’s convention. The previous month, the Trump campaign had hired Nix’s company, and by this point, it had been widely reported that Russian intelligence was behind the DNC hack.

The photograph was part of a series of snaps on a website presenting polo photos for purchase.

Journalists, researchers, and congressional investigators have wondered about any ties between Cambridge Analytica and Russia. This photo is hardly evidence of an untoward connection. But last year a Huffington Post article on Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the super-wealthy, right-wing backers of Cambridge Analytica, did note that Rebekah, at one meeting with Nix, was highly impressed by Nix’s polo skills, gushing about his prowess and asking him to show cellphone photos of himself on horseback.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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