In what, if true, would be the clearest evidence yet of direct collusion between Donald Trump himself and Russian government agents attempting to rig the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman on Tuesday told NBC News that Trump knew in advance about emails stolen by Russian hackers from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee — before those emails were published online by the data-dumping site WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016, and again in early October, according to a transcript of the interview published by Real Clear Politics.
Asked by interviewer Katy Tur of MSNBC, the NBC News cable channel, whether Trump knew in advance of the emails, Manigault Newman replied, “Absolutely.”
Tur then asked, “He knew what was coming out before Wikileaks released them?”
“Yes,” Manigault Newman confirmed. But as Vox reported, the former White House aide, who had been a contestant on Trump’s NBC reality TV competition show The Apprentice, offered no other evidence that Trump knew about the emails before they first appeared on the WikiLeaks site on July 22, 2016, during the Democratic National Convention — and earlier on the makeshift site DC Leaks, which has been identified by Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a front for the Russian intelligence officers behind the email hacks, Vox notes.
Omarosa also told MSNBC that she has spoken to Mueller’s office and that there was “a lot of corruption” in the 2016 Trump campaign, including Trump’s advance knowledge of the hacked emails. Campaign aides were instructed to mention the emails in public as often as possible, according to Manigault Newman.
When Tur asked Omarosa, “How did (Trump) know about all those emails? If he knew about them before they came out, how did he know?” the former aide declined to answer. But there are multiple possible ways Trump might have known about the emails in advance, some of which have been publicly reported — including through campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who was told, as the Inquisitr has reported, by a Russia-linked academic in April of 2016 that Russia possessed “thousands” of emails containing “dirt” on Clinton.
Mueller has been investigating whether Trump knew in advance of the hacked emails at least since February of this year, NBC News reported.
Trump may have also learned about the hacked emails through a group of Russians who met with his son, Donald Trump Jr., in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, a few weeks before the emails began appearing online. Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort and son-in-law Jared Kushner were also at that meeting. Trump has since publicly admitted that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss damaging information on Clinton, the Inquisitr reported.
Two days before the Trump Tower meeting, Trump made a public announcement that he would soon give a major speech serving up damaging information on Clinton, as the Inquisitr reported. But he never gave the speech.