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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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