Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort says he never met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, though a recent report says the two met at least three times in the past, according to CNN.
The Guardian reported on Tuesday that Assange and Manafort met secretly at the Ecuador Embassy in London. Manafort and Assange met during the time that Manafort was managing Trump’s campaign, according to their report. The Guardian claims the two had secret meetings in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
Manafort completely denied the report, saying it is “totally false and deliberately libelous.”
“I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him…I have never been contacted by anyone connected to Wikileaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or Wikileaks on any matter. We are considering all legal options against the Guardian who proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false,” he said in a statement.
It’s interesting to note that both Assange and Manafort are included in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Donald Trump has said numerous times that the investigation is a “witch hunt.”
In a court document filed Monday, Mueller claimed that Manafort lied to investigators even after agreeing to cooperate with Mueller’s office.
BREAKING: @WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has instructed his lawyers to sue the Guardian for libel over fabricated Manafort story and launched a legal fund to boost the action https://t.co/VaoMESN5RO
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 27, 2018
According to the timeline presented by The Guardian, Assange and Manafort met just months before WikiLeaks released emails from Democratic politicians. It is believed that those emails were stolen by Russian intelligence.
Manafort’s lawyers would not comment on media requests about this story.
According to the British-based legal counsel for Julian Assange, “no such meetings took place.”
Manafort was also in the room during the now-infamous meeting at Trump Tower that involved Donald Trump, Jr., several Russians and members of Donald Trump’s campaign.
Manafort has already pled guilty to charges of witness tampering and conspiracy.
When contacted for comment, the White House also declined to offer any statements about this story.
However, the White House is sticking to its policy of denying. Sarah Sanders, White House Press Secretary, said Tuesday that “we certainly remain confident in the White House assertion that the president was involved in no wrongdoing and not part of any collusion,” according to NPR.
Donald Trump publicly praised WikiLeaks while on the campaign trail in 2016, according to Business Insider. This includes comments such as “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”
The question is, how much does WikiLeaks love Donald Trump?