About That Guardian “Bombshell” That Paul Manafort Secretly Met With Julian Assange
I have to preface this link by saying I’m skeptical right now. The sourcing is very thin, and one of the writers has a very, uh, dubious history: Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say.
Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.
Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.
For what it’s worth — and that’s probably not much — both Assange and Manafort have vehemently denied this report. Manafort just issued a statement minutes before I wrote this:
STATEMENT from Manafort:”This story 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.”
More Manafort:”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.”
And that dubious history I mentioned above? One of the authors of the Guardian piece, Luke Harding, once claimed that the NSA hacked into his computer and for weeks, as he worked on a book about Edward Snowden, deleted text as he was writing it, causing his keyboard to start “flashing and bleeping.”
So unless this incendiary report is corroborated by someone who doesn’t have a flashing, bleeping keyboard, I’m going to take it with a shaker full of salt.