Report: Manafort met with Julian Assange ahead of 2016 leaks


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A British newspaper alleges that Paul Manafort secretly met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within days or weeks of being brought aboard the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

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.

The campaign seized on the emails to undermine Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton.

The Guardian, which did not identify the sources for its reporting, said that Manafort met with Assange "around March 2016" — the same month that Russian hackers began their all-out blitz to steal emails from the Clinton campaign.

Manafort's lawyers did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.

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