Manafort reportedly met with Julian Assange when he joined Trump campaign

Report: Paul Manafort Met With Julian Assange Months Before WikiLeaks Published DNC Emails

Trump's campaign chief 'secretly met with Julian Assange' months before WikiLeaks email dump, it is claimed

Then, per the report, months after a meeting with Manafort, WikiLeaks released emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee by Russian intelligence officers.

On Tuesday, The Guardian published a "bombshell" report alleging that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort held "secret talks" at the Ecuadorian embassy with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including one alleged meeting that took place around the time Manafort joined the Trump campaign in 2016.

A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016.

The meeting lasted about 40 minutes, according to the Guardian.

"I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him", the statement said.

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Manafort is likely already feeling the pressure this week as it was reported Monday that he was accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, throwing a monkey wrench into his plea deal.

A federal judge in Virginia appeared reluctant Tuesday to grant a request to unseal a criminal complaint against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, emphasizing the "compelling interest" the government has in keeping such matters under wraps until he is arrested, should that happen. The Associated Press reported August 18, 2016, that Manafort had lobbied in the US on behalf of politicians in Ukraine without disclosing to the USA government that he was working as a foreign agent.

WikiLeaks is so confident of its claim, that it announced it's willing to put its money - and Assange's life - on the table.

While the exact charges against Assange remain unclear, WikiLeaks has served as a vehicle for release of thousands of classified U.S. military and diplomatic cables.

"Remember this day when the Guardian permitted a serial fabricator to totally destroy the paper's reputation".

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Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2017. The source for this is an internal document written by Ecuador's Senain intelligence agency, which lists a "Paul Manaford" as one of several of Assange's guests.

Manafort's lawyers say that's not so - they said he believes he has offered "useful information". It also mentions "Russians".

If confirmed, the report Tuesday suggests a direct connection between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of emails stolen by Russian spies during the 2016 election.

For more than a year now, Manafort has been at the heart of several unresolved threads of the Mueller investigation. Manafort entered into a plea deal with Mueller's office in September, pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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