For years it was rumored that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was behind the so-called “Trump-Russia collusion” hoax.
On Friday, a former Clinton campaign official confirmed at least one element of that.
During testimony in the trial of former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who has been accused of lying to the FBI, campaign manager Robby Mook said Clinton personally signed off on the allegation that there was a covert electronic communications backchannel between the Trump Organization and Russia’s Alfa Bank, even though campaign officials admitted they were not “totally confident” the information was accurate.
Mook was called to testify by the defense team for former campaign attorney Michael Sussmann, who has been charged with one count of lying to FBI general counsel James Baker during a September 2016 meeting in which Sussmann claimed he was not there on behalf of any client, though he was working for Clinton’s campaign at the time.
Fox News :
During cross-examination by government prosecutor Andrew DeFillippis Friday, Mook was asked about the campaign’s understanding of the Alfa Bank allegations against Trump and whether they planned to release the data to the media.
Mook said he was first briefed about the Alfa Bank issue by campaign general counsel Marc Elias, who at the time was a partner at lawfirm Perkins Coie.
Mook testified that he was told that the data had come from “people that had expertise in this sort of matter.”
Mook said the campaign was not totally confident in the legitimacy of the data, but had hoped to give the information to a reporter who could further “run it down” to determine if it was “accurate” or “substantive.”
He also said that he discussed whether to pass along the information to a reporter with senior campaign officials including the campaign’s chairman, John Podesta, then-communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan, the latter of whom now serves as President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.
“I discussed it with Hillary as well,” Mook told the court.
“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,” Mook noted.
After he was pressed about Clinton’s response, Mook replied: “She agreed.”