Manafort tried to make deal with Ecuador to hand over Julian Assange

Ecuadorian President talked with Manafort about removing Assange from embassy

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, offered to help Ecuador's then newly elected president Lenín Moreno hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, sources told The New York Times.

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, February 28, in Washington, D.C. He offered to help Ecuador's then newly elected president Lenín Moreno hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, according to The New York Times. According to the outlet, Trump's former manager, who is reported to have presented himself as a liaison for the new U.S. administration, travelled to Quito to facilitate a deal between Chinese investors and the Latin American country's power sector.

The WikiLeaks founder has been confined in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 when he was granted asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations and persecution in the U.S. for publication of leaked USA docs.

They said Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for the handover of Assange to the United States, which has long investigated him for the disclosure of secret documents.

And during that trip, the spokesman said, Ecuador's president raised the possibility of a deal that would remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the country's embassy in London.

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However, the talks ended with nothing as several days later Robert S. Mueller was appointed special counsel to probe alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. While there, sources told the Times that Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for Assange, who Ecuador reportedly wanted out of their London embassy.

Manafort "listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the objective of the meeting", said Maloni.

The former head of trump's staff held a final meeting with Moreno a few days after the appointment of Robert Mueller spectaculorum for investigation of Russia's intervention in USA elections 2016. Last week, The Guardian reported Manafort met with Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2013, 2015 and 2016, though the Times said there is no evidence that Manafort's talks with Ecuador were motivated by WikiLeaks' role in Russian interference in the 2016 election.

WikiLeaks has come under scrutiny for its 2016 publication of emails stolen from Democratic servers by Russian intelligence agents, which contained damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Trump's rival during the 2016 presidential election.

This was reported by The New York Times.

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