Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman said Tuesday that President Donald Trump "absolutely" knew about the hacked Hillary Clinton campaign emails before WikiLeaks released them in 2016, but she offered no evidence to support her claim.
WikiLeaks began releasing emails from the account of Clinton's presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, in the last month of the 2016 campaign, and U.S. officials believed the organization was given the emails by hackers linked to Russian intelligence outfits. The question of whether Trump or his campaign knew in advance of the illegal activity is central to special council Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Trump and the Russians.
Manigault-Newman—in the midst of a media blitz for her book Unhinged, which blasts her former boss as a mentally unstable racist—told MSNBC host Katy Tur there was deep corruption in the Trump campaign and White House, where she once worked as a Trump administration official.
"You say corruption, but do you mean coordination, anything that Robert Mueller would be interested in, whether Donald Trump was coordinating with Russia or he knew about the emails during the campaign, that sort of thing?" Tur asked.
"I think that he should come clean with the American people," Manigault-Newman responded. "I think that he should be honest about what he did during the campaign and what he continued to do at the White House."
Tur then appeared to conflate Podesta's stolen emails with Clinton's email scnandal when she made note of Manigault-Newman saying in her book that she was told to bring them up constantly on the campaign trail.
"Did Donald Trump know about those emails before they came out?" Tur asked.
"Absolutely," Manigault-Newman said.
"He knew about them?" Tur pressed.
"Yes," Manigault-Newman said.
"He knew what was coming out before WikiLeaks released them," Tur said.
"Yes," Manigault-Newman responded.
"You're saying Donald Trump had a backchannel," Tur said.
"I didn't say that. You did, but I will say that—" Manigault-Newman started.
"How do you know about them then?" Tur asked.
The former aide said she would continue to "blow the whistle," but Tur asked again how Trump could know about the emails before they came out. Manigault-Newman suggested an NBC News reporter could ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the matter at Tuesday's White House press briefing.
Manigault-Newman has come under fire for revealing that she secretly taped White House chief of staff John Kelly in the Situation Room as she was being fired in 2017, in addition to making unverified claims of hearing a tape of Trump using a racial slur while on the set of "The Apprentice." Daily Beast reporter Asawin Suebsaeng told "The Bill Press Show" that he never found proof of that tape in his reporting.