(CNN) – Joe Trippi, a former top aide to John Edwards, is sharply refuting a report a handful of campaign staffers knew about the former presidential candidate's affair and had plans to sabotage his White House bid, telling CNN Monday the claim is "complete bull s**t."
"No one that I know had such a plan, I wasn't involved in a plan like that, it didn't exist, it's a fantasy," Trippi said in a phone interview.
Trippi, a close advisor to Edwards during his Democratic presidential primary bid, also said if any campaign staffer actually knew the affair was true they were "not only malpracticing John Edwards but the country as well by not doing the right thing, going to him, and telling him he had to leave the race."
The comments come a day after ABC News reported several Edwards campaign staffers "in the inner circle" began to believe rumors of an affair were true in late 2007. According to the story, the group had devised a "doomsday" strategy to sabotage the campaign if Edwards looked as if he would win the Democratic nomination.
But Trippi, who worked closely with Edwards' most senior advisors, including Campaign Manager David Bonior and Deputy Campaign manager Jonathan Prince, suggested he would have been aware of a plan if one existed.
"I don't think there was an hour Prince wasn't with me," he said, adding later, "I can't conceive of how it was possible that if someone had a secret plan I wasn't aware of it."
In reality, Trippi said, Edwards' senior advisers immediately discounted the rumors, first reported by the National Enquirer in the fall of 2007, and never raised the possibility they might be true.
"We were thinking there is no way in hell he would do this to Elizabeth," Trippi said. We were thinking how could the National Enquirer do this to her, when she has terminal cancer and tries to make a difference by helping her husband run for president."
Edwards came in second in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2008, behind Barack Obama but slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton in the state delegate vote count. But five days later he finished a distant third in the New Hampshire primary. Edwards gave up his bid for the White House on January 30, the day after a disappointing third place finish in the South Carolina primary.
Programming Note: Watch Elizabeth Edwards' exclusive interview on CNN's Larry King Live at 9 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday night.