Omarosa claims Trump knew about hacked emails prior to WikiLeaks release

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman claimed Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE knew about the hacked Democratic emails obtained by WikiLeaks before they were released during the height of the 2016 election campaign.

She made the allegation during an interview that aired on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, saying that Trump “absolutely” knew about the emails before they were released by WikiLeaks. She also said campaign officials were instructed to bring up the emails at every point they could during the end of the campaign.

U.S. officials have linked the hacked emails to a broader plot by Russia to interfere in the election.

When asked by the reporter whether she was implying Trump had a back channel to WikiLeaks, Omarosa replied, “I didn’t say that, you did.”

“I will say that I am going to expose the corruption that went on in the campaign and in the White House,” Manigault-Newman added.

WikiLeaks released troves of emails stolen from Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers and the personal inbox of John Podesta, then Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November Live coverage: Cruz, O'Rourke clash in Texas debate MORE’s campaign chairman, in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

The U.S. intelligence community says that officials belonging to Russia’s GRU military intelligence unit were responsible for the hacks and passed the stolen material to WikiLeaks. Last month, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for launching cyberattacks against the DNC and systems involved in the U.S. electoral process.

For more than a year, Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the election, including whether there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow. 

There has been broad speculation about whether individuals in Trump’s orbit knew about the emails before they were released by WikiLeaks. Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneAnother Roger Stone associate meets with grand jury Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Roger Stone associates questioned about ties to WikiLeaks for Mueller probe: report MORE, a longtime adviser to Trump who briefly worked on the campaign, has attracted scrutiny for his links to WikiLeaks. Stone has claimed publicly that he communicated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during the 2016 campaign, though he maintains that it was done through an intermediary.

Stone also sent a series of tweets during the campaign that appeared to hint at forthcoming releases of emails from WikiLeaks before they occurred. Still, Stone has denied having advance knowledge of the emails before their release. 

Moreover, court documents released last October  indicate that George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFlynn sentencing move spurs questions about duration of Mueller probe Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Trump to declassify controversial text messages, documents related to Russia probe MORE, a former foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, was told by a Russia-linked professor that Moscow had “thousands” of emails containing dirt on Hillary Clinton in April 2016 — before WikiLeaks released hacked emails publicly. Papadopoulos is cooperating in Mueller probe. 

On Tuesday, Manigault-Newman would not say whether Stone could have passed Trump information about the WikiLeaks releases, but she said that Mueller has “rightfully” zeroed in on Stone in his probe.

The special counsel has interviewed and subpoenaed multiple witnesses who have personal and professional ties to Stone. Most recently, Kristin Davis, a former prostitution ring leader better known as the “Manhattan Madam” who has longstanding ties to Stone, testified before Mueller’s grand jury.

Manigault-Newman has been making the rounds in the media promoting her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” which characterizes Trump as unfit for the presidency.