The latest tape shows Trump crashing a White House meeting in October 2017, and commenting to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about a then-recent report that Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for research that led to the Christopher Steele dossier. (Clinton later defended her campaign lawyer’s decision to fund research for the infamous dossier — which contained allegations that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election — and argued that the move was legal.)
“I think Hillary is getting killed right now with Russia,” Trump tells staffers in the recording. “The real Russia story is Hillary and collusion.”
“Somebody told me it was $9 million they spent on the phony report. Yeah, someone just said she’s far worse for the country than we thought, she didn’t know her own campaign was spending 9, did you see?” he continues. “Nobody knows who spent. I heard it was 5.7. now they say it was 9. It was spent through a law firm so that way they can’t trace it. The reason they used a law firm, you don’t have to give any papers.”
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“It’s definitely illegal and it’s illegal from a campaign financing standpoint. So the whole Russia thing I think seems to have turned around. What do you think, Sarah?” he asks Sanders.
“Absolutely,” she replies.
Trump’s comments on the tape are similar to other public statements he’s made accusing his 2016 rival of colluding with Russia. While there is no investigation into Clinton, special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting an ongoing probe into Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
During her appearance on The View, Manigault Newman — who recently published a tell-all book, Unhinged, about her time in the Trump White House — said that Clinton “was robbed” in the election and admitted, “I was complicit in that.”
Trump and Sanders have both attacked Manigault Newman’s credibility in response to her book and subsequent claims. Most recently, Sanders said in a statement following Manigault Newman’s appearance on MSNBC on Sunday: “Everyone, even the media, knows she has no credibility … she will say and do anything to try and be relevant.”
Manigault Newman has already released multiple secret recordings of the president and other officials in his administration.
But the recording released Monday could be her last. She said on The View that her lawyer had just received a call backstage prohibiting her from releasing any new audio recordings.