Trump administration denies allegations that Trump campaign used Trump Tower ‘darknet’ to host foreign donors
President Donald Trump’s administration denied Tuesday that its top political aide, Corey Lewandowski, used the Trump Tower “darknet” to host a foreign donor as the president’s campaign was facing allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In an email to reporters, the White House press office referred questions to a White House official who said the issue was not discussed at the meeting.
“The President did not directly or indirectly engage in the discussion, and no one in the administration took part in the meeting,” the official said.
“While the discussion took place in the darknet, it was not directed at anyone in the White Houses political office.”
The administration official said that the WhiteHouse is still reviewing the contents of the email but said that Trump’s top political adviser “had no involvement in the planning, design, development, construction, operation or maintenance of any part of the dark net, including using the Trump tower for fundraising activities.”
Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager, was forced out of the Whitehouse in August after he was caught on video attacking Trump critics, and the White house has been under fire for its handling of the Russia investigation.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and campaign adviser Roger Stone are among those who have come under scrutiny over their ties to the Russia probe.
Lewandowski was accused of trying to recruit a Russian to conduct a “hacked” email campaign to embarrass Trump during the presidential campaign, but the allegation was later dropped.
Trump later pardoned Manafort and Stone.
In a statement, the Trump administration said that “there was no discussion at any point about whether the President had any intention of engaging in the foreign funding activity.”
“There was no direct or indirect effort to engage in any political activity with respect to the dark web or to collect contributions for the Trump campaign, or any of the other foreign interests that were mentioned by the press,” the statement said.
“As with all government transactions, no decision was made to initiate any payment to any foreign government or organization that was not legally required by law.
In addition, the President did nothing to solicit donations for any foreign political party.
He never accepted any money from any foreign foreign government and never sought to influence the outcome of any U.S. election.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.