On the campaign trail, Donald Trump was obsessed with Wikileaks.
Trump made public mentions of the site — which published stolen emails that damaged rival Hillary Clinton’s election prospects — more than 120 times during the campaign.
On Tuesday, the Guardian reported that Trump’s campaign boss Paul Manafort went to the Ecuadorian embassy in London to meet with Wikileaks head Julian Assange during the heat of the campaign.
Commentator John Avlon and former CIA counterterrorism asset Phil Mudd joined hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman on CNN Wednesday to discuss the current state of the alleged plot between Russia and the Trump campaign, as we now understand it.
“Phil, did the trail just get more clear for you?” asked Camerota.
“Yes, it did,” said Mudd. “There’s a couple pieces we’ve known for months, we’ve known obviously, what the Russians were up to, including Russian military intelligence. We’ve known what Wikleaks released the information… The middle of the puzzle is starting to clarify. The information about exactly how the interaction with Wikileaks was happening.”
We now need to verify that the Guardian’s report is true, Mudd said, and then to know if Paul Manafort or anyone else on the Trump team made arrangements with them.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is now saying the president “does not recall” whether he discussed Wikileaks with Manafort or advisor Roger Stone.
That was a red flag for Avlon.
“The dots are now being connected here in a deeper way than ever before,” he said. “You get a sense of why the pressure is increasing on the president, because you can’t spin your way out of these problems.”