Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook on 'Break in Protocol' by FBI

FBI chief announced Friday the FBI is looking into emails of Huma Abedin.

ByABC News
November 1, 2016, 7:22 AM

— -- Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager today called FBI Director James Comey's letter to congressional leaders regarding the emails of a top Clinton associate a "break in protocol."

"Director Comey has been criticized from both sides on this now," Robby Mook said today on "Good Morning America." "You have a former attorney general under President Obama, a former attorney general under George W. Bush both saying this was a mistake. You’ve had former Justice Department officials saying it was a mistake."

He continued, "We’ve come to learn from anonymous leaks that are coming out that Director Comey’s own superiors at Justice warned him not to do this. This is a break in protocol."

Comey, a Republican who is serving a 10-year team as the head of the FBI, announced Friday in a letter to eight members of Congress the FBI is focusing on thousands of emails that appear to be associated with Huma Abedin, a top Clinton aide. The emails were found during an investigation into sexting by former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, Abedin’s estranged husband.

Mook noted that while Comey made public information about the FBI's inquiry into Abedin's emails, he has not, according to Mook, been forthcoming about an investigation into the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee in July and top Clinton campaign staff.

"Just yesterday we found out it was Director Comey who was privately trying to prevent the report that the Russians were the ones who stole emails from the DNC and from our campaign staff," Mook said. "He has no problem revealing information about Hillary Clinton, when he didn’t even have a warrant to look at it, but he is willing to hold back information on Russian state actors."

The New York Times reported this week the FBI has found no conclusive evidence of a direct link between Trump and the Russian government. Mook said anonymous leaks from the FBI point to investigations into Russian ties to Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page, whom Trump has described as a foreign policy adviser.

When told by "GMA" co-anchor George Stephanopoulos the FBI is describing any focus on Manafort and Page as preliminary inquiries, not investigations, Mook called on Comey to be more forthcoming.

"I’d like Director Comey to clarify all that," Mook said. "He had no problem going out and having a long press conference and editorializing on investigations into Secretary Clinton. I don’t see why he can’t come out and explain what is going on with Donald Trump.

"It is particularly odd that he was the one who was privately trying to prevent the announcement that it was the Russians, when 17 security investigations said it was the Russians who were stealing our emails, he was the one who was trying to prevent that from being released," he said.

Mook also commented on a New York Times report that Trump may have avoided hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes by failing to report forgiving debt as income. Trump has not released his tax returns in this campaign, despite pressure to do so.

"What’s particularly astounding about this recent report is that Donald Trump was writing off other people’s losses," Mook said, calling Trump's failure to release his tax returns "unprecedented. "So not only did he not pay taxes for 20 years, he was writing off other people’s losses. Some of these loopholes are now against the law."

The latest ABC News-Washington tracking poll shows Trump ahead of Clinton in the presidential race for the first time since May. Mook said he believes Clinton will win the race but said the campaign is running "like we're 20 points behind."

"What we are focused on right now is making sure every single one of our supporters understands how important it is that they turn out and vote," Mook said. "The polls are going to go up and down. They’ve done that the whole time on this race. We have a week to go."

He added, “We are going to win this election but it’s important that every one of our supporters turns out.”

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