On Tuesday, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman suggested Donald Trump had access to the Hillary Clinton emails that WikiLeaks released before the hacked emails had been released publicly. She stopped short of calling Trump’s access a “back channel,” and quickly pivoted away from the issue.
“I think that he should come clean with the American people, and he should be honest with what he did in the campaign and what he continued to do in the White House,” Manigault Newman told MSNBC’s Katy Tur.
“And you were instructed, according to the book, to bring up the emails at every point you could at the end of the 2016 campaign—Hillary Clinton’s emails?” Tur asked.
“Yes, that was our ‘talker,'” Manigault Newman responded.
“Did Donald Trump know about those emails before they came out?” Tur asked.
“Absolutely,” the former White House staffer replied.
Tur clarified, “He knew about them?” Manigault Newman repeated, “Yes.”
“He knew what was coming out before WikiLeaks released them?” Tur pressed.
“Yes,” Manigault Newman responded.
Only when Tur asked, “You’re saying Donald Trump had a back channel?” did the former White House staffer hold back.
“I didn’t say that, you did,” Manigault Newman replied. “I am going to expose the corruption that went on in the campaign and in the White House. I’m going to continue to blow the whistle on all of this.”
Manigault Newman did not specify how Trump knew about the emails before WikiLeaks released them, and she directly denied having communication with Roger Stone, whom she called “dark” and “shady.” She added that the Trump administration should be worried about the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
As Tur asked Manigault Newman to reveal more of the things Trump staff are allegedly hiding, the former White House staffer said, “I can’t go into it, you know, Katy. I am happy to talk about what’s in the book which is why you brought me here.”
Manigault Newman focused on the book and refused to answer other questions about Trump getting early access to Hillary Clinton’s emails.
According to The Washington Post, the emails WikiLeaks published had been hacked by the Russians and passed on. If Trump received them before WikiLeaks published them — and especially if he received them before WikiLeaks received them — that would suggest his campaign was working directly with the Russian outfit that hacked Clinton.
This one interview is hardly a smoking gun, however. Manigault Newman has changed her tune time and time again, and her hesitance to discuss more about this allegation is quite telling. It seems Katy Tur led the former White House staffer to make an allegation she was unprepared and perhaps unwilling to make — one that may not be true at all.
Manigault Newman has come forward with many stories attacking President Trump, even contradicting her previous claims that Trump was not racist. She now claims that he used the N-word, although her alleged source (Frank Luntz) denied the story. To make matters worse, she herself said every critic “will have to bow down” to Trump…
Whatever the baselessness of the charge, however, Manigault Newman did indeed confirm to Katy Tur that Trump at least knew of WikiLeaks’ possession of the Clinton emails before they were published. This could be a serious story, but at this point is little more than a rumor.