Billionaire heiress Rebekah Mercer is standing by embattled data firm Cambridge Analytica—at least for now. A person close to Mercer, who sits on the firm’s board, told The Daily Beast she has no immediate plans to leave her post there, despite a bombshell report alleging the company used Ukrainian sex workers to try to get compromising material about its clients’ political opponents.
“She is working to be part of the solution,” said the source, of one of American conservatism’s most powerful mega-donors.
“She has always worked to make sure she observes and abides by all established norms and legal mandates,” the source added.
The source said Robert Mercer, former co-CEO of America’s most lucrative hedge fund, is just a passive investor in Cambridge Analytica and has never been on its board. Rebekah Mercer is his daughter, and conducts broad business oversight as a board member.
Cambridge Analytica broke into the American political scene in 2015, working for Sen. Ted Cruz’s primary campaign and touting its “psychographic” voter modeling program. During the primaries, it also worked alongside allies of Ben Carson and Donald Trump. Steve Bannon has long been close with the firm, and once owned a stake in it, per McClatchy. The firm drew the attention of Congressional investigators looking into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. And its head, Alexander Nix, once reached out to Julian Assange to offer the firm’s services in releasing emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s email account. Assange confirmed the outreach to The Daily Beast, and said he turned down Nix’s overture.
The Mercers were among Trump’s most generous supporters, spending millions to support his campaign.