Manafort tried to broker deal over Assange’s handover to US

Lester Mason
December 6, 2018

It is noted that Manafort was initially during a meeting with Moreno in Quito to discuss the draft agreement, which provided for investment of Chinese business in the energy system of Ecuador.

The outlet cites Manafort's spokesman, Jason Maloni as saying that Moreno brought up the Assange issue and expressed "his desire to remove Julian Assange from Ecuador's embassy", while Manafort "listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the objective of the meeting".

Moreno and his officials reportedly voiced their readiness to assist Assange's removal from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, whose asylum has been a point of contention for the new administration in Quito, in exchange for concessions from the US. The Times said there was no indication that Trump or other administration officials were briefed by Manafort on the negotiations, but noted the incident highlighted Manafort's role as an global influence broker hoping to cash in on his ties with Trump. Manafort recently dismissed a story that he met with Assange in person during the 2016 campaign as "false and deliberately libelous".

"When Mr. Manafort met with President Moreno of Ecuador to discuss the China Development Fund, the president raised with Mr. Manafort his desire to remove Julian Assange from Ecuador's embassy", Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni told CBS News.

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

But the talks instead turned to a diplomatic point between the U.S. and Ecuador: the fate of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Read the full Times report here.

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 US elections 2016.

Manafort and WikiLeaks have both denied a recent report in The Guardian that the former campaign chairman visited Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The U.K., however, scuttled that plan, informing Ecuador that Assange would be arrested, should he ever leave the embassy. President Trump and his allies were regular cheerleaders of Wikileaks' dissemination of hacked Democratic Party emails.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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