Hillary Clinton's campaign manager said Sunday that there is no evidence to suggest that the State Department used the Clinton Foundation as political leverage during her time as secretary of state or that Democratic Party officials tried to incite violence at Donald Trump's rallies.
Robby Mook also told CNN's Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that he's “not aware” of any contact between the Clinton campaign and the women who have accused Trump of touching them inappropriately.
As Clinton surges in the polls in the final days of the campaign, her team has been put on the defensive by leaked emails, documents and internal conversations on issues that have long plagued her campaign. The campaign has sought to cast doubt on the authenticity of the documents and videos.
First, the emails: WikiLeaks has released thousands of hacked documents from Clinton's campaign and Clinton Foundation officials in recent weeks. Among other things, they purport to show how the then-secretary of state handled the potential conflict of interest involving her family's foundation. One email suggests that Clinton accepted an invitation to speak at an event in Morocco after the nation's king donated $12 million to the foundation. On Friday, Trump said that was evidence of “pay to play.”
On Sunday, Mook said he can't comment on what happened during Clinton's time as secretary of state, but he added that the Obama administration had stringent rules in place to prevent the sort of thing Trump is accusing Clinton of. “I can't even verify whether the content is real,” Mook said of the emails. Clinton's campaign has not authenticated any of the hacked documents, noting that U.S. cybersecurity officials have tied Russia to several campaign-related hacks and that Russia has been known to doctor documents.
Mook also denied any Clinton campaign involvement in a video leaked last week by conservative activist James O'Keefe purporting to show two little-known but influential Democratic political consultants taking credit for inciting violence at a Trump rally, among other political tricks. Both operatives, Scott Foval and Robert Creamer, lost their jobs related to the Democratic presidential ticket. (Neither was directly tied to the Clinton campaign.)
Mook said Sunday that both men “no longer have a relationship” with the Democratic National Committee or the Clinton campaign. He said that there is no evidence to suggest that any DNC official did what the operatives allegedly bragged about in the video.
“There is no evidence whatsoever we have been able to find that anyone did anything like this when they were working for the DNC,” he said.
The campaign manager said that the videos were edited, so there is no way to verify their authenticity. (O'Keefe's videos have been found to be heavily edited in the past.)
Mook accused Trump's campaign of putting undue focus on the videos and emails in an attempt to distract from the Republican nominee's own struggles.
“This is, again, an attempt by Donald Trump to distract from the issues of this campaign,” Mook said. “He's spiraling after that last debate, and he doesn't want to talk about substance.”