Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wanted to spy on Facebook’s hiring process and there’s one strategy the Breitbart News executive chairman pondered: planting a mole inside the tech firm.
Bannon got the idea from former congressional staffer Chris Gacek, who noted in an August 2016 e-mail that Facebook-owned WhatsApp was hiring a public policy manager in Washington D.C.
“This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB,” Gacek wrote in the e-mail, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News.
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Bannon then asked former Breitbart News Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos if he could “get on this.”
But to spy or not to spy?
One contracted researchers advised against the strategy, writing in an e-mail it “Seems dificult [sic] to do quietly without them becoming aware of efforts.”
WhatsApp ended up hiring Christine Turner, who worked on the National Security Council during Obama’s administration, for the job.
The e-mail exchange happened before Bannon took over Donald Trump’s campaign, but the revelation comes as Facebook and other tech firms have been accused of having a liberal bias.
At the same time, lawmakers have been pressuring Facebook to disclose more information about political ads the social network ran during the presidential campaign and election.
Last week, Facebook said it would share more than 3,000 ads linked to Russia to congressional investigators looking into whether the country meddled in the U.S. presidential election.
Photo: Steve Bannon appears at a national security meeting on Oct 7, 2016 at Trump Tower in New York. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Tags: facebook, mark zuckerberg, Steve Bannon