Former President Donald Trump called the Russia probe against him “one of the greatest political scandals in history” after a May 20 testimony revealed that Hillary Clinton had given the approval to disseminate the claims linking him to a Russian bank.
“This is one of the greatest political scandals in history,” Trump told Fox News on Saturday. “For three years, I had to fight her off, and fight those crooked people off, and you’ll never get your reputation fully back.”
“Where do I get my reputation back?”
Trump said that the resources poured into finding whether he and members of his campaign had worked with Russia to meddle with the 2016 election had diverted attention on what “could have been a real danger with Russia.”
Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, told a federal court on Friday that he was first briefed about the allegations of a purported secret back channel between Trump’s business and Russia’s Alfa Bank by Clinton campaign’s top lawyer Marc Elias.
The campaign didn’t immediately act on the allegations for fear they weren’t credible, he said, noting that the campaign officials lacked the subject matter expertise to assess the claims. When the group decided to share the information with the media, Mook ran it by Clinton.
“We told her we have this and we want to share it with a reporter. She agreed to that,” he said. He said he couldn’t remember when Clinton gave the green light. “All I can remember is she agreed with the decision. She thought we made the right decision.”
Despite not being “totally confident” in the allegations, the campaign staffer later passed information to a reporter, who they expected would vet the information.
“Our hope was they were going to run it down, that it would be substantive, and accurate,” said Mook.
Slate published a story on Oct. 31, 2016, and Clinton highlighted it in a post on Twitter later that evening.
“Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank,” she wrote.
By Eva Fu