By Stefan M. Kløvning
Wikileaks set up a GoFundMe campaign on Tuesday to get fundraising to sue the Guardian over a story they released earlier that day, entitled “Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say.” Wikileaks claims that this story is “entirely fabricated” and that it is “time the Guardian paid a price for fabricating news.”
The fundraiser aims for $300,000 and has already gathered over 11% of its goal after two days.
According to the Guardian report,
Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.
In their fundraiser, Wikileaks charges back pointing out that the story is completely based upon anonymous sources, and that the Embassy’s visit logs, which are maintained by Equador, show no such visits, “since they did not occur.”
Paul Manafort issued a statement through his spokeperson Jason Maloni where he denied all allegations of collusions presented in the story:
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 Guardian has softened on its story since its publication, 90 minutes after which they added “sources say” to their title.
Wikileaks archived the story and asserted confidently on Twitter,