Former Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have each strongly denied a report that they met in 2016.
The Guardian reported that the pair met within the Ecuadorean embassy in London, U.Okay. “round March 2016,” the identical month that Manafort joined the Trump marketing campaign and Russian hackers started a concerted effort to steal emails from the Hillary Clinton marketing campaign.
The newspaper mentioned the assembly wasn’t the primary between the pair and that they beforehand met in 2013 — a yr after Assange took refuge there to keep away from being extradited to Sweden over intercourse crime allegations — and 2015.
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Manafort mentioned in an announcement that the report was “completely false and intentionally libelous” and denied ever being contacted by anybody related to WikiLeaks.
He mentioned he would contemplate authorized motion in opposition to the Guardian, which he mentioned “proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false.”
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WikiLeaks introduced that it too would look to sue the Guardian and launched a GoFundMe marketing campaign to fund the authorized motion.
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Based on WikiLeaks, Ecuadorean embassy’s customer logs present that Manafort by no means visited Assange there. The whistle-blowing web site accused the Guardian and journalist Luke Harding of fabricating earlier information studies about Assange.
Nonetheless, the Guardian reported that Manafort’s go to was intentionally not entered into the embassy’s log e-book. It cited a supply saying Manafort’s go to lasted 40 minutes.
The Guardian didn’t determine the sources for its reporting.
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If confirmed, the report suggests a direct connection between the Trump marketing campaign and WikiLeaks, which launched tens of hundreds of emails stolen by Russian spies throughout the 2016 election.
The marketing campaign seized on the emails to undermine Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
— With recordsdata from the Related Press
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