How Facebook helped the Trump campaign in 2016

In a new interview, Trump's former digital director discussed how Facebook embeds helped the campaign out

By Matthew Rozsa
Published October 9, 2017 12:49PM (EDT)

According to a recent interview with Brad Parscale, the former digital director for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, there were Facebook embeds helping out the Republican's electoral efforts.

After describing how the Trump campaign concentrated on Facebook in order to win the election, Parscale mentioned to CBS's Lesley Stahl that one reason he believed the Republicans won that election is because they "took opportunities that I think the other side didn't," according to CBS News.

After Stahl asked for specifics, Parscale replied, "Yeah, Facebook employees would show up for work every day in our offices." He added that "Google employees and Twitter employees" were also embedded within the Trump campaign for "multiple days a week, three, four days a week, two days week, five days a week."

When Stahl pointed out that some of them could have been Trojan horses, Parscale replied that he would ask to make sure that they were Republicans.

"I wanted people who support Donald Trump from their companies," Parscale said, adding that the tech companies "already have divisions set up that way" between Republicans and Democrats.

Stahl expressed incredulity at that notion, but Parscale reassured her that it was the truth. He also claimed to have heard that Hillary Clinton's campaign was offered similar help from the tech companies but turned it down.

Parscale has made similar claims in the past. In July, when he denied any Russian involvement in those areas of Trump's campaign under his purview, he also said, "The only collaboration I am aware of in the Trump digital campaign was with staff provided to the campaign by Facebook, Google and Twitter."

Parscale added, "Those experts in digital marketing worked side-by-side with our teams from Giles-Parscale, the Republican National Committee, and Cambridge Analytica to run a professional and winning campaign."

Parscale's reference to Cambridge Analytica touched on one of the main controversies surrounding Trump's campaign. Sources familiar with the ongoing investigations into the Trump-Russia scandal have said that they are looking at Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics company that is partly owned by Trump backer Robert Mercer, as well as the right-wing news site Breitbart.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Brad Parscale Cambridge Analytica Donald Trump Facebook Technology