Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign manager says Republican rival Donald Trump should explain "the extent to which the Kremlin is at the core" of his campaign, her team's latest suggestion of Russian meddling in the November 8 election.
The August 21 comments to ABC News by Robby Mook came just days after the resignation of Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, amid reports about his lobbying work for a pro-Kremlin Ukrainian political party and failure to register as a foreign agent.
"Paul Manafort has been pushed out, but that doesn't mean that the Russians have been pushed out of this campaign," Mook said.
He added that there are "real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race."
Trump has said that if elected, he would seek to improve U.S.-Russian ties that were battered following Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea territory and backing for armed separatists battling Kyiv's forces in the east of the country.
But he says suggestions that the Kremlin is trying to help him get elected are ridiculous. Moscow has rejected the accusations as well.