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Giuliani Says Trump Doesn’t Know if Manafort Met With Assange - Reports

© REUTERS / Brendan McDermidPaul Manafort, exjefe de campaña de Donald Trump
Paul Manafort, exjefe de campaña de Donald Trump - Sputnik International
The US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Trump doesn’t know whether his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ever met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Giuliani told HuffPost on Tuesday that even if Manafort had met with Assange, it wouldn’t prove anything.

'I have no idea if Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange. The president has no idea if Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange', Giuliani said, adding 'I don’t care if he met Assange over the years. I know there were no conversations between the president and Manafort about Assange'.

Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016. - Sputnik International
The Guardian Walks Back Disgraced Reporter’s Story on Manafort-Assange Meeting
According to an article, published by The Guardian, the WikiLeaks founder, who had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, and Trump’s former campaign chairman had multiple contacts dating back to 2013, including one in March 2016, when Manafort was the head of Trump campaign.

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Mueller probe, said Manafort’s lawyer told him The Guardian story is wrong.

'Absolutely untrue. He wasn’t in London at the time', Giuliani said, yet noting that he did not know if that was correct.

Manafort released a statement on Tuesday calling the article 'libellous', saying he was considering legal options against The Guardian for false allegations. Wikileaks also announced on its Twitter page that it was launching a fundraising campaign to sue The Guardian for publishing an 'entirely fabricated story'.

'I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,' Manafort said in the statement. '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'.

READ MORE: Ex-Trump Aide Manafort Held Secret Talks With Assange – Reports

Manafort became a target of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after the alleged reports of his and Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr and son-in-law Jared Kushner's collusion with Russia during Trump’s campaign. However, no evidence was found to support these claims. WikiLeaks also was a target of the investigation after leaking emails belonging to John Podesta, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair. Both Trump and Russia have denied all the allegations.

Giuliani has repeatedly said Trump did not work with the Russians to get elected, cited by HuffPost.

'There’s no proof that Trump colluded with the Russians. It’s a joke', Giuliani said, pointing to his own months as an adviser to Trump’s campaign. 'Manafort doesn’t know about collusion. If he knew about collusion, I would know about collusion'.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016 - Sputnik International
Manafort Cooperating With Mueller, Not Incriminating President - Trump Attorney
He also called the probe 'bullshit' and Mueller’s prosecutors 'bozos' for putting Manafort in solitary confinement while awaiting sentencing. 

'You don’t exert undue pressure on people. You’re not God… Mueller is not reining them in. There’s no adult supervision', he said.

Manafort, 69, pleaded guilty to fraud and obstruction of justice charges on 14 September and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lighter prison sentence. However, Mueller’s team on Monday told a federal judge that Manafort had repeatedly lied to investigators in breach of his plea deal, and asked for sentencing to be scheduled as soon as possible.

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