An intelligence officer who worked on the Clinton White House’s “dossier” against Donald Trump accused the former president of “informing” her about the allegations in the dossier in a conversation that allegedly took place in early January of this year.
The revelation, which the Intercept first reported on Friday, came as the White House said it was investigating the former secretary of state for “inadvertently sharing information” with the White National Security Council during the campaign.
Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said on Twitter that she was “deeply troubled” by the allegations against Trump and said that the “dishonest” media should “stop spreading lies” about him.
“This is about who we are as a country, who we believe in, and how we want to govern,” Conway told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Sunday.
“This is the president who has spent a lot of his adult life telling the truth, and he’s lied about this in the past.
So it’s a big deal.
I don’t think we need to make this a big issue, because it’s not going to matter.”
She added that Trump is “a very, very strong man, and this is a huge distraction.”
“But I also believe in our democracy and I think this president is going to stand up for what’s right, and I believe in the truth,” she said.
Trump told the New York Times last month that he was not aware of any communication between him and the Russian government about the dossier, but the Washington Post reported on Monday that he had discussed the matter with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a phone call.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had been behind the release of the dossier that included salacious allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.
Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.
A Trump transition official told ABC News that the Trump campaign was “not aware of or in any way involved” in any conversations about the contents of the document, which was prepared by a former British spy named Christopher Steele.
The official also denied that the campaign had any knowledge of the contents before the dossier was published.
“The campaign was never a party to the work being done by Christopher Steele,” the transition official said in a statement.
“It was never the purpose of the campaign to assist him or his work, and it is unfortunate that he chose to do so.”
In the interview with Axios, Conway said the conversation occurred after the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had called her to say he wanted to meet with Trump.
She said she was concerned about how the Trump administration might respond to a report that the former head of the Russian Foreign Ministry had told Russian journalists that Russia had “dirt” on the Trump team.
“I said, ‘Hey, Paul, I don of course want to know anything about that,'” Conway said.
“He said, well, we don’t want to talk about that, but if we can get an opinion from somebody that you can trust, I can get a statement from him.
He said, I will talk to you later.'””
Then he says, well you know, you’ll be in touch, but just let me know what you want to say.
And I said, yeah, well I would like to know if you would be willing to talk to me about it.”
When pressed by the interviewer about the nature of that meeting, Conway did not respond.
Conway said the two spoke about the matter “some time” after she and Manafort had been “furious” at the leaks about the meeting, according to the transcript.
“He said that he would be happy to talk with me and I said to him, I’d like to talk,” she recalled.
“I said ‘Well, I’m not sure we’re in a position to discuss that.
I’d appreciate it if you’d talk to Paul.
He’s got a number of people that he knows that would be able to talk.’
And I was like, ‘Well he’s in the same boat.’
He said he’d be happy if I could talk to him.”
Asked if she was aware of the alleged Russian contacts with Trump, Conway responded: “I was deeply concerned about that.”
Conway added that the White, Senate, and House Intelligence Committees were “going to be doing an investigation into this.”
“We’ve been working hard on that for the last few weeks,” she told the outlet.
“There will be a very serious investigation into the Trump transition team.
We’ve had several meetings that have been held with the committees to discuss the matter.”