The Guardian has claimed, using unnamed sources, that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had “secret talks” with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on three occasions. These claims are completely false and the story has been fabricated. But it has gone viral, repeated uncritically by media outlets around the world.
UPDATE: Paul Manafort has issued a statement unequivocally denying the alleged visits:
“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.
“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.”
The Embassy’s visitor logs – maintained by Ecuador – show no such visits, since they did not occur.
This is not the first time that the Guardian, and in particular its writer Luke Harding, have fabricated a story about Assange.
WikiLeaks is suing The Guardian for libel over this serious fabrication.
Bringing legal action in UK courts is extremely expensive. WikiLeaks is entirely funded by the public and urgently needs your support. We must hold The Guardian to account: your contribution will help make this lawsuit possible. Please make a donation today.