- Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed on Tuesday that President Donald Trump knew about the hack of Hillary Clinton’s emails before their release in the summer of 2016.
- The former White House adviser told MSNBC’s Katy Tur that Trump knew about the emails, but she did not specify how.
- Manigault Newman also confirmed that she had been interviewed as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
- Her memoir, “Unhinged,” contains several unflattering allegations about Trump.
The former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed on Tuesday that President Donald Trump knew about the hack of Hillary Clinton’s emails before their release in the summer of 2016.
When asked during an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur whether Trump “knew what was coming out before WikiLeaks released” the emails, Manigault Newman confidently responded “yes,” but she did not specify how.
In July, the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of conspiracy against the US and aggravated identity theft over the hacking of Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Manigault Newman also confirmed to Tur that she had been interviewed as part of Mueller’s investigation into whether there was coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, but she did not comment further on the substance of the interview.
“I am going to expose the corruption that went on in the campaign and in the White House,” Manigault Newman said. “I’m going to continue to blow the whistle on all of this.”
The New York Times reported in November that Joseph Mifsud, a highly connected academic, told the Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos in March 2016 that the Russian government had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” This disclosure came more than three months before the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks released the hacked emails.
Mike Pompeo, who led the CIA before becoming secretary of state, has described WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” and the organisation was identified in the indictment of the 12 Russian military intelligence officers.
Media reports have also found that multiple Trump associates were in touch with WikiLeaks during the election, including the longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone, who was also in contact with the Russia-linked hacker Guccifer 2.0. Stone said in August 2016 that he had “communicated” with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, but he later walked back his comments and said it was through an intermediary, the radio host Randy Credico.
Credico was recently subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Mueller’s investigation in September. His attorney told CNN that prosecutors “probably want to talk to him about Roger Stone and Julian Assange.”
Stone sent a series of cryptic tweets about WikiLeaks and John Podesta, the Clinton campaign manager, days before the group published a batch of Podesta’s emails in October 2016. Stone denies having any prior knowledge of the document dump.
Manigault Newman did not say whether Stone told Trump about the emails, but she described Stone as a “shady character” who was “being investigated and rightfully so.”
On October 10, 2016, three days after WikiLeaks published the first batch of Podesta emails, Trump said he loved WikiLeaks, telling a crowd at a campaign rally that “it’s amazing how nothing is secret today when you talk about the internet.”
He also tweeted about WikiLeaks on October 11, writing: “I hope people are looking at the disgraceful behaviour of Hillary Clinton as exposed by WikiLeaks. She is unfit to run.”
WikiLeaks then reached out to Donald Trump Jr. on October 12, telling him it was “great” to see him and Trump “talking about our publications.” It also “strongly” suggested Trump tweet the link wlsearch.tk – which he did, two days later – claiming the site would help people search through the hacked documents. WikiLeaks also told Trump Jr. it had just released another batch of Podesta’s emails.
An hour later, Trump tweeted: “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”
“This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable,” Trump said the same day, at a campaign rally in Florida. “It tells you the inner heart, you gotta read it.”
Manigault Newman said people in the Trump administration “should be very worried” about the Mueller investigation.
Both Trump and the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have vehemently denied the claims in “Unhinged,” with Trump attacking Manigault Newman’s character and credibility in a series of tweets.
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