On Sunday morning, Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook appeared on ABC’s The Week to dismiss recent shakeups in the Donald Trump campaign as cosmetic. He also called the real estate tycoon a “puppet for the Kremlin.”
Mook told host George Stephanopoulos, “Paul Manafort has been pushed out, but that doesn’t mean that the Russians have been pushed out of this campaign.” Manafort resigned last week amid controversy over his reported ties to Ukraine business interests. “The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this campaign for some time,” Mook said. He continued:
“It’s clear that they are supporting Donald Trump. But we now need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his own campaign. There’s a web of financial interests that have not been disclosed. And there are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”
Stephanopoulos seemed bemused. “You’re saying Donald Trump is a puppet for the Kremlin?” Robby Mook replied with a list of suspicious connections between the Republican presidential nominee and Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin:
“We’ve seen over the last few weeks him parroting Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican party platform change. We saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO, and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin — he was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at their 10th anniversary gala. There are a lot of questions here.”
The “gentleman” Mook is referring to is retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month and accompanied Trump to his first classified security briefing on Wednesday. Flynn is the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. According to USA Today, Flynn has appeared on RT as an analyst and attended a dinner attending the network’s 10th anniversary in Moscow last year.
Stephanopoulos went on to question Mook about the controversy surrounding foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. Mook said that while the foundation will stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Clinton becomes president, it will not shut its doors entirely. Mook highlighted the Clinton Foundation’s work to provide drugs that combat malaria and HIV. He said, to “[pull] the plug on them literally would threaten lives around the world.”
(Via USA Today)