Phillips initially vehemently denied working for the organisation, but later admitted she worked for Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, after Channel 4 obtained a recording of an interview in 2017 when she confirmed working for the data firm in a recently published investigation.
Speaking to a Channel 4 reporter who asked her about her involvement in Kenya, and if she worked for the firm, she said: “I didn’t work for them at all. That’s libellous.” She added: “I’m being very serious now. You’re actually propagating a load of misinformation that’s been put online… based on nothing".
She continued: “If you want to talk about the Cambridge Analytica campaign, speak to them, not me. I don’t know them. I really don’t know the people".
Phillips discouraged the channel 4 reporter from reporting on the story
In the clip Phillips implied it will be “very difficult” if the journalist doesn’t drop the story, before calling her lawyers. She said: “And if you use this online, it’s going to be very difficult, OK".
And actually, please don’t pursue that because there’s going to be a lot of things that might be happening over the next weeks, months, which is going to make life very difficult. I’m being serious.
I’ve never been employed by Cambridge Analytica in my life.
However she later changed her tune, and told the news organisation she worked for SCL on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successful re-election campaign.
In the 2017 recording, she revealed to having been secretly “employed by Cambridge Analytica” to work for President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.
She said: “My contract which finished yesterday. So now I’m able to talk. But whilst I’m under contract with Cambridge Analytica, if they’d found that I’d spoken to a journalist about them, then, you know what I mean non-disclosure agreements and all the rest of it… I wasn’t working for Jubilee I was employed by Cambridge Analytica who had the contract with Jubilee”.
I was brought on as a political communications consultant for the Kenya project.
I’d be writing the president’s speeches and his talking points for rallies and State House statements. I trained their communications team; they’re all sort of journalists who came together to create a press office. So I had to train them up and run the daily management of that communications team
Last year Channel 4 revealed Cambridge Analytica had been involved in a number of elections abroad including the US elections and Kenya, which was criticised at the time for spreading misinformation.