According to her former campaign manager, Hillary Clinton personally approved her team’s preparations in October 2016 to provide information to a reporter about an uncorroborated purported server backchannel between Donald Trump and a key Russian bank.
Robby E. Mook, an American political strategist, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2016 said he attended a meeting with other senior campaign officials where they learned about strange cyber activity that suggested a relationship between the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Moscow-based bank.
Hillary Clinton personally approved her campaign’s plans in fall 2016 to share information with a reporter about an uncorroborated alleged server backchannel between Trump and a top Russian bank, her former campaign manager testified in federal court https://t.co/yCGnq4VtFq
— CNN (@CNN) May 20, 2022
The group decided to share the information with a reporter, and Mook had Clinton approve the choice.
“We discussed it with Hillary,” Mook said, later adding, “she agreed with the decision.”
Later, a campaign staffer forwarded the information to a reporter from Slate magazine, with the goal that the reporter would “vet it out” and “write what they believe to be true,” said Mook.
On October 31, 2016, Slate released an article questioning the strange Trump-Alfa cyber ties. Following the publication of the story, Clinton tweeted about it and issued a press release stating, “This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump’s ties to Russia.”
The testimony came during Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann’s criminal prosecution, which is being pursued by Trump-era special counsel John Durham. Durham is looking into any wrongdoing in the Trump-Russia investigation by the FBI.
The trial has thrown light on the shadowy world of political opposition research, as well as how campaigns dig up dirt and plant stories in the media.
Federal investigators eventually determined that there were no unlawful Trump-Alfa cyber ties.