UK academic says data firm helped Trump campaign spread fear

LONDON (AP) — A British propaganda expert who has studied Cambridge Analytica says the company helped Donald Trump's presidential campaign use false statements and anti-Muslim messages to spread fear and resentment in swing states Trump needed to win.

University of Essex lecturer Emma Briant made the comments in essays submitted to the media committee of the U.K. Parliament's as part of its inquiry into fake news. She has studied SCL Group, the conglomerate that includes Cambridge Analytica, for a decade.

Briant, who interviewed the group's employees for her academic research, said she was "compelled" by the U.K. Electoral Commission, the Information Commissioner's Office and the committee to discuss "Cambridge Analytica's grossly unethical conduct enacted for profit," according to evidence released on Monday.

The company could not immediately be reached for comment.