Cambridge Analytica reached out to WikiLeaks' Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton's leaked emails in early June 2016, as the company was in contract talks with the Trump campaign, The Wall Street Journal reports. In July 2016, WikiLeaks began posting thousands of Clinton- and DNC-related emails.
The Wall Street Journal reports that while Federal Elections Commission records show that Cambridge Analytica was not paid by the Trump campaign until July 29, the company had already sent a small team to work with Trump's digital operations staff in the first week of June. The contract between Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign was signed on June 23.
A Washington Post article published two weeks before Trump's surprise victory last November claimed that within Trump Tower, Cambridge Analytica was "embraced as a vital part of its plan" for a comeback victory. Cambridge Analytica is partially owned by Republican mega-donor Steve Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer. Breitbart News boss and former White House official Stephen Bannon previously sat on Cambridge Analytica's board of directors.