By Guy Page
Robby Mook, the 2016 campaign manager for Hillary Clinton who testified Friday, May 20 in federal court that Clinton in the fall of 2016 personally approved sharing with media unproven allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian bankers, is a Vermont born-and-raised political operative with numerous connections to prominent Vermont Democrats.
In 2016, Mook and other top campaign officials brought to Clinton’s attention reports of cyberlinks between Trump and a Russian bank, CNN reported on the trial of campaign lawyer John Sussman Friday May 20. Should this potential bombshell information be shared with the press – even though it was of uncertain origin? “We discussed it with Hillary,” Mook reportedly said. He added later that “she agreed with the decision.”
The ‘Russian collusion’ information was shared with the media, eagerly published in Slate Magazine, and retweeted by Hillary. This was the beginning of the ‘Russiagate’ narrative employed to impeach then-President Trump. It later proved to be untrue.
To date, Vermont’s statewide media – including VT Digger, VPR, WCAX, WPTZ, and Seven Days – have been silent about Mook’s testimony in the Sussman.
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Mook, 42, is currently a Fellow at the Kennedy School at Harvard University, according to his Twitter account. He was born in the town of Sharon, and was raised in Norwich, a wealthy, liberal Windsor County bedroom community for Dartmouth College. Mook’s father was a Dartmouth professor and his mother an administrator at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital.
Mook became interested in politics when former legislator Matt Dunne was his high school theater director, his Wikipedia biography says.
According to Wikipedia [everything below here quoted verbatim from Wikipedia entry],
Mook worked on state campaigns and on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. He then joined the Democratic National Committee and worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign as a state director in three states.
Mook managed former Governor Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign during the 2008 United States Senate election in New Hampshire, served as the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2012, and was the campaign manager for Terry McAuliffe’s successful 2013 gubernatorial campaign.
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Mook drew criticism for his campaign strategy, specifically his reliance on data analytics.
Early life and education
Mook was born in Sharon, the son of Kathryn and Delo Mook, and was raised in nearby Norwich, across the river from Hanover, New Hampshire. His father was a physics professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, and his mother was a hospital administrator at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, in nearby Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Mook attended Hanover High School, where Matt Dunne, a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, served as the theater director. Dunne met Mook when he auditioned for a school play, and Mook volunteered for Dunne’s reelection campaign. Mook graduated from Columbia University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in classics. Mook also served in the United States Senate Page program.
During the summer after Mook’s freshman year at Columbia, Dunne hired Mook as the first paid staffer for the Vermont Democratic House Campaign, working to elect Democrats to the Vermont House. Mook worked as a field director during the 2002 Vermont gubernatorial election, which the Democrats lost. He served as deputy field director during Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign in Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
He joined the Democratic National Committee after Dean lost the nomination to John Kerry, serving as director of the get out the vote effort in Wisconsin during the general election. He worked for David W. Marsden, managing a campaign that won a previously Republican-held seat in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2005. In 2006, he coordinated the campaigns of Martin O’Malley, who defeated incumbent Bob Ehrlich in the Maryland gubernatorial election, and Ben Cardin, who defeated Michael Steele to win the United States Senate election.
Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign
Mook joined Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign in 2007. He served as the campaign’s state director for Nevada, Indiana, and Ohio. Clinton won the popular vote in all three states. Mook then managed Jeanne Shaheen’s successful campaign for the United States Senate that fall. Mook joined the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 2009 as their political director, and was named independent expenditure director of the DCCC in May 2010. After the 2010 House of Representatives elections, where the Democrats lost the majority, Mook was named executive director. In the 2012 House of Representatives elections, he aided the Democrats in gaining eight seats, though Democrats had aimed for the 25 seats needed to retake the majority.
Terry McAuliffe campaign
In 2013, Mook left the DCCC and was named the campaign manager of Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign. That year, Politico named Mook one of their “50 Politicos to Watch.” Mook led McAuliffe’s campaign to victory. He worked for McAuliffe’s political action committee as well as the Virginia Progress PAC, helping in the reelection campaign of Senator Mark Warner in 2014.
Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign
In January 2015, Clinton hired Mook and Joel Benenson as strategists. Upon the April 2015 announcement of Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president, Mook was introduced as Clinton’s campaign manager. According to the Washington Post, as Clinton’s campaign manager, Mook won praise “both inside the campaign and among Clinton’s vast circle of second-guessers, for the airtight and drama-free campaign he has built.” A group of about 150 young political operatives close to Mook became known as the “Mook Mafia.”
Mook played a key role in negotiating with Bernie Sanders’ campaign to win his endorsement for Clinton. During the campaign, Donna Brazile commented on Mook’s micro-tagging of voters based on purchasing preferences, alleging that it “missed the big picture.” Clinton did not win the election, losing to Republican Donald Trump.