Paul Manafort, the embattled former campaign chief of President Donald Trump, made an attempt to broker a deal between Washington and the government of Ecuador over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, CNBC informed citing The New York Times.
During the meetings with the Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in May 2017, Manafort mentioned that he could help broker a deal for Ecuador to extradite Assange to the U.S.
Assange has been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 when he has been granted asylum, as he seeks to avoid his extradition to Sweden where he faces accusations of sex crimes. In exchange for Assange, Moreno’s government would get concessions such as the debt relief from Washington. But no agreement was signed, and there is no evidence of Manafort’s attempts for this matter.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
CNN last week reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was investigating a 2017 meeting between Manafort and Moreno. Mueller was interested in discovering if WikiLeaks or Assange were discussed during those talks.