Former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robert Mook testified that his old boss approved sharing materials alleging a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank to the media despite campaign officials sharing concerns over the materials’ legitimacy.
The Daily Wire reports:
Mook said that at the time, the campaign knew the evidence against Trump was shaky, but campaign officials thought a reporter could investigate and potentially substantiate the claims. He said he discussed the issue at the time with Campaign Chairman John Podesta, Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.
Mook also ran the plan by Clinton, who signed off pushing the collusion claims despite the relatively weak evidence. Mook said that he and other top campaign officials agreed not to alert the FBI to claims because of the shaky basis, however.
“I discussed it with Hillary as well,” Mook testified. “I don’t remember the substance of the conversation, but notionally, the discussion was, hey, we have this and we want to share it with a reporter.”
“She agreed,” he said.
On Thursday, former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified that the bureau investigated the materials and found that “there was nothing there.”
Mook also read off a 2016 tweet from Clinton’s account featuring a statement from Sullivan, who was serving as her senior policy adviser. The tweet and statement were referencing a story from Slate that had come out earlier that day reporting on the alleged connection between the Trump Organization and Alfa-Bank.
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016
The Clinton campaign manager testified that the Slate story then solidified Hillary’s belief in the Trump-Russia connection. The campaign assumed the materials had then been vetted by the news outlet prior to the article’s publication.