Hillary Clinton’s campaign just dropped a major revelation after campaign manager, Robby Mook, was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos Sunday evening from the Democratic National Convention. In the interview, Mook says that not only does Donald Trump secretly adore Vladimir Putin, but that the Russian government is doing whatever it can to get Trump elected president.
Below is the transcript via ABC News:
STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, Jon, thanks.
Let’s talk about this more now with Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook.
Mr. Mook, thank you for joining us this morning.
ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Sure.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about these WikiLeaks leaked emails, a little smoke bomb at the beginning of your convention.
And I have one here from Brad Marshall, who is working at the DNC. It seemed to question Bernie Sanders’ religion. “Does he believe in a God?
He has skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
You also have other emails where Debbie Wasserman Schultz is calling Sanders’ top aide a — a liar.
Is someone going to be held accountable for these emails?
Paul Manafort calls charge that Donald Trump or Trump campaign has ties to Vladimir Putin “absurd.” #ThisWeek
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2016
MOOK: Well, George, my understanding is that Brad has apologized…
STEPHANOPOULOS: He has apologized.
MOOK: — for that email and I think that’s an appropriate step. Obviously, nobody should — in politics, should be attacked for — for their religion, ever.
And — and I think the DNC needs to get to the bottom of the facts and then take appropriate action on any of these emails.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What more is there to know?
We see what’s in them.
“You’re right, he doesn’t trash talk everybody. He likes Vladimir Putin.” —@TimKaine on Donald Trump
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 23, 2016
MOOK: Well, what’s disturbing about this entire situation is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, took all these emails and now are leaking them out through these Web sites.
Obviously, they have to determine, you know, what’s accurate, what — what’s been doctored, what has been doctored. And it’s troubling that some experts are now telling us that this was done by — by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.
STEPHANOPOULOS: For the purpose of helping Donald Trump?
MOOK: That’s what some experts are saying. And so a…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is that what you believe?
I asked Tom Cotton about Trump’s positive vibe for Putin. He said it would change when Trump gets classified intel https://t.co/pjHOEpi7Lg
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 21, 2016
MOOK: Well, I don’t know. The experts need to tell us that. It was concerning last week that Donald Trump changed the Republican platform to become what some experts would regard as — as pro-Russian. And so, again, the DNC needs to — needs to look into this and take appropriate action.
But — but it’s — it’s important to understand the broader perspective of — of why this is happening.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to stay on the WikiLeaks for a second, but — but you’re raising some important questions here.
Do you think Donald Trump is too close to Vladimir Putin?
MOOK: I think what’s troubling is how he has praised Vladimir Putin. It’s troubling that last week he said that — or he questioned whether NATO should protect our Eastern European allies.
So yes, I think that’s troubling for any American, from a national security standpoint.
“I think Putin and I will get along very well,” Donald Trump told NYT reporters. A transcript of the interview: https://t.co/F9rxW6DtPs
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 21, 2016
STEPHANOPOULOS: And on the WikiLeaks emails, some talk now that Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not have a prime time speaking slot in the convention?
Is that the case?
Will someone else take over the ceremonial chair responsibilities?
MOOK: Well, George, we haven’t even announced who our keynote speaker is yet, so talks a lot about the program that needs to get figured out.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You put out most of your speakers.
Donald Trump on Putin’s alleged murder of journalists:
“At least he’s a leader.” https://t.co/ZrRr9EWbxW
— The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) July 20, 2016
MOOK: We’re working on all that. Well, we haven’t put out our keynote and this is a very — I was just on a call this morning. We’re still making decisions and determining that.
So I — you know, there’s a lot of work still to determine who’s speaking when.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But — but does the Clinton campaign believe that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be disciplined in some way for these emails?
MOOK: I think the DNC needs to get to the bottom of the facts, needs to understand what actually happened here and then appropriate action needs to be taken.
But right now, we’re really focused on having a great convention and — and — and celebrating the campaign of Senator Sanders and — and talking about why Secretary Clinton is running, her lifelong fight for kids and families, the specific plans she has to — to get this economy working for everybody, not just those at the top.
I think you’re going to see a tremendous difference between the Republican convention, which was doom and gloom, discord, disunity, attacks on Hillary Clinton. You’re going to see an optimistic, hopeful view of our future and specific plans to make people’s lives better.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But should we be surprised if we don’t see Debbie Wasserman Schultz?
MOOK: I can’t say — you’re definitely going to see Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
STEPHANOPOULOS: All right, let’s — let’s get onto the pick of — of Tim Kaine right now. No surprise, Donald Trump has hit Twitter and with some response to Tim Kaine.
— Slate (@Slate) July 22, 2016
One thing he said is, “Why did Tim Kaine have no problem when he took far more money as governor of Virginia than Bob McDonnell? Crooked Hillary and rigged system.”
He’s referring to that $120,000 in gifts to Tim Kaine, which is legal under Virginia law, but some people have raised questions about it.
MOOK: Well, this is a rehashed attack from — that was launched against Senator Kaine in 2012 by the Republicans. It’s been totally debunked. He disclosed all of his donations properly. There was never any wrongdoing whatsoever.
Look, Donald Trump is just afraid because Tim Kaine has had an outstanding reception. You had Jeff Flake, Senate — Republican senator from Arizona, praising him on Twitter. Trump’s trying to, you know, muddy the waters on this.
The fact of the matter is, Secretary Clinton made an outstanding choice in Senator Kaine and we couldn’t be more excited.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some progressives still grumbling. They don’t quite like the fact that Tim Kaine in the past has supported trade agreements, even though now he said he’s against the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Others say he’s been too lax on banks, hasn’t been strong enough over his whole career on issues like gay rights. And there’s some movement now on the floor perhaps to put another vice presidential candidate into nomination.
Is that going to happen? Are you going to be able to stop it?
MOOK: Look, Tim Kaine is going to be our vice presidential nominee and we couldn’t be more excited about it. I heard from progressives all across the country yesterday lauding this choice. They couldn’t be more excited.
The fact of the matter is Tim Kaine has been a progressive fighter his entire life. This is someone who was a missionary in Central America. This is someone who started his career as a civil rights lawyer, took on Nationwide, one of the biggest corporations in this country, fought them over lending discrimination. He’s going to be — he’s a fantastic choice and I think you’re going to see a really excited convention.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So another name won’t be put in nomination?
MOOK: I — look, someone can try something according to rules. But there’s no question here, Tim Kaine is going to be our nominee.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about coming into this convention, you’re still plagued by these questions facing Secretary Clinton about her honesty in all the polls. Our latest poll also showed that more than 70 percent of Americans say she’s too willing to bend the rules.
It’s pretty clear that ever since that FBI announcement by James Comey you guys have taken a hit in the polls. How much damage has that done and how do you fix it?
MOOK: Well, we’re moving forward. And what you’re going to see here at the convention, again in contrast to the Republicans, is everyday Americans on stage talking about Hillary Clinton’s lifelong fight for kids and families. The real difference she’s made in their lives. What a lot of Americans don’t understand is this is someone who has fought her entire life to make other people’s lives better, to break down barriers, to give people more opportunity.
So that’s something we’re going to focus on here, and I think once Americans understand that, they’ll have a fuller picture of Secretary Clinton.
The other thing she’s going to talk about that Donald Trump didn’t is her specific plans to make people’s lives better, to get this economy working for everybody, not just those at the top. And you’re going to hear an optimistic view of our future. She’s going to unite this country to make a difference in people’s lives.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Talked about the all-star lineup this week. You’ll see a lot of career politicians up there. How has that changed?
MOOK: Well, look, I think you’re going to see a lot of different people on that stage. You’re going to see everyday Americans talking about their lives. You’re going to see some people from entertainment. We’re going to have some music. I — and look, I would argue more people are going to watch this convention online than on television, so I think you’re going to see people looking at the content for this convention throughout the day. This is 2016, that’s how things work now.
So I think the — I think the Republican lineup was thin. It wasn’t particularly exciting. It certainly wasn’t optimistic or hopeful and I think you’re going to see that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, is coming up after you. And he, this week he talked about expanding the electoral map. He says they’re going to expand from 12 to 20 battleground states including Connecticut, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, and Wisconsin. All of those have been pretty traditional Democratic states. Does that worry you?
MOOK: I welcome Donald Trump to spend a lot of time in states like Connecticut. I think that families there understand what a threat he is, not only to our community, the fabric of our American community, but also to our national security and especially to our economy. The voters in these states are going to resoundingly reject Donald Trump, so I welcome him to spend his time there. We’re focused on the states that we think are the real battleground and we’re very confident in states, you know, like Pennsylvania and Ohio and Florida. We have a very competitive operation.