A month ago, Palmer Report brought you the story of how a Donald Trump campaign staffer told the BBC that Facebook had sent its employees to “help” with the Trump campaign’s digital advertising efforts (link). For unknown reasons, the American mainstream media refused to pick up the story. But now Trump’s own digital media director has rather bizarrely admitted to a U.S. news network that the real story is even more corrupt and inappropriate than previously known.
Brad Parscale, who ran the Trump campaign’s digital operations, has given an interview to Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes which will air on Sunday October 8th on CBS but is already leaking out in pieces. It’s unclear why the show keeps giving Trump’s former advisers (Steve Bannon, etc) a platform to run their mouths, but in any case, Parscale ended up making a rather shocking admission. He revealed that Republican employees of Facebook and Google were “embedded” in the Donald Trump campaign in order to help out with its digital advertising effort.
This is far, far uglier than how the story was originally presented to the BBC. It initially sounded as if Facebook and other networks were merely sending advertising reps to the Trump campaign to help out with the ad buys, because the campaign was a major paying customer. This would still have been inappropriate, but could have been vaguely called nonpartisan. However, based on Parscale’s new admission, Facebook and Google were sending Republican employees to help the Trump campaign – which strongly implies that these employees were trying to help the Trump campaign for partisan reasons. They weren’t just taking care of a customer; they wanted Trump in office.
It should be pointed out that in the weeks since the Russian ad buy on Facebook surfaced, the media and a number of Republicans in Congress have tried to paint the social networks as the primary villains in the Russian election rigging, to divert attention from the Trump campaign’s criminal collusion. Brad Parscale may be throwing Facebook and Google under the bus as part of that effort. But it’s nonetheless a shocking admission – and one which may have been criminal in its own right.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report