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Trump sought updates on 2016 WikiLeaks dumps: ex-aide

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on November 12, 2019 - Duration: 01:48s

Trump sought updates on 2016 WikiLeaks dumps: ex-aide

President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign was keen to keep abreast of the release of emails potentially damaging to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to court testimony Tuesday.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Trump sought updates on 2016 WikiLeaks dumps: ex-aide

Donald Trump was eager to know more about Wikileaks' plans to release e-mails potentially damaging to his 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That's according to Trump's former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, who testified Tuesday at the trial of Trump's longtime political adviser Roger Stone.

Gates said he witnessed a call between Trump and Stone, after which Trump said Wikileaks had more coming on Clinton.

Gates' testimony could hurt Stone, who is charged with obstructing justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress about his communications with Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

In the heat of the 2016 campaign Wikileaks began releasing e-maisl from Democratic Party servers believed to be stolen by Russia.

Gates also testified that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and aides Jason Miller and Stephen Miller held brainstorming sessions based "in part on Mr. Stone's predictions" about WikiLeaks.

Gates said Manafort instructed him to keep in touch with Stone to, "see if the information was still real and viable" - and that Stone sought to keep Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner in the loop about the hacked Democratic emails.

An investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that the Trump campaign eagerly greeted the interference by Russia and Wikileaks, but did not directly conspire in the effort.

Gates was also caught up in the Mueller probe: he pled guilty to charges and testified against his former boss, Paul Manafort.

Gates' appearance at Stone's trial comes after former Trump campaign chief and White House strategist Steve Bannon testified Friday that Stone was viewed by Trump's team as an "access point" to WikiLeaks.

Stone denies all charges.

The prosecution rested its against Stone after Gates' testimony Tuesday.

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