The Russia-Trump collusion narrative of 2016 was approved by then Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

That was the testimony on Friday by 2016 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in federal court.

Mook testified as a witness in special counsel John Durham’s trial of Michael Sussmann, the lawyer accused of lying to the FBI.

In September 2016 Sussmann took claims of a secret Trump connection to Russia’s Alfa Bank to the FBI and said he wasn’t acting on behalf of any client. Prosecutors say he was working for the Clinton campaign.

Prosecutors presented evidence this week that Sussmann worked with cyber-researchers and opposition-research firm Fusion GPS to produce the claims on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and to feed them to the FBI. An FBI agent testified that a bureau analysis quickly rejected the claims as implausible.

Mook admitted the campaign lacked expertise to vet the data, yet the decision was made by Mook, policy adviser Jake Sullivan (now President Biden’s national security adviser), communications director Jennifer Palmieri and campaign chairman John Podesta to give the Alfa Bank claims to a reporter. Mook said Clinton was asked about the plan and approved it. A story on the Trump-Alfa Bank allegations then appeared in Slate, a left-leaning online publication.

On 31 October 2016 Sullivan issued a statement mentioning the Slate story saying ‘This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow.’ Clinton tweeted Sullivan’s statement with the comment: ‘Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.’

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Russia-Trump narrative that Clinton sanctioned did enormous harm to the country. It disgraced the FBI, humiliated the press, and sent the country on a three-year investigation to nowhere.