Trump-Russia inquiry is told Nigel Farage may have given Julian Assange data

Private investigator tells House panel Farage gave thumb drive to Assange, who officials view as a conduit for the Russian government

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now an Ecuadorian citizen

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is stateless no more. On Thursday, Ecuador revealed that it had extended citizenship to Assange, a controversial figure who moved into London’s Ecuadorian embassy to evade extradition to Sweden back in 2012. Assange alluded to the citizenship status with a Twitter post depicting him in an Ecuadorian football jersey.

Sweden has since abandoned it intended to bring Assange back to the country to face accusations related to sexual assault. Still, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for fear of being extradited to the United States for his role in releasing classified U.S. intelligence and military documentation, including a video that depicted U.S. troops gunning down a number of non-combatants in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists and children.

At the time of his work with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, many viewed Assange as a champion of government transparency, though his legacy now is considerably more mixed. Since that time, Assange has taken to openly peddling widely debunked conspiracy hypothesis and lashing out at journalists who revealed that WikiLeaks disguised documents that depicted massive pays between Syria and Russia.

Assange’s newfound citizenship has again escalated tensions with Britain, though it’s likely that he’ll leverage the status to make a move out of the Ecuadorian embassy once and for all.

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Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse

Ecuadors foreign minister discloses to reporters in Quito that Wikileaks founder was awarded citizenship a month ago

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has disclosed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

The 46 -year-old has been naturalised after living for five and a half years in the cramped, Latin American country’s embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.

Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as foreign diplomats. The petition was dismissed.

The Ecuadorian initiative was intended to confer legal immunity on Assange, letting him to slip out of the embassy and Britain without being arrested for violating his former bail conditions.

Julian Assange posted this picture of himself in an Ecuadorian football shirt on Twitter. Photograph: Twitter

Assange failed to surrender to the UK authorities in 2012 after the supreme court rejected his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sexual crimes, including rape. He was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Swedish attorneys last year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into allegations against him, which he denied. WikiLeaks, however, were afraid that the US will seek his extradition if he leaves the embassy, believing there is a sealed US indictment trying his arrest.

At a press conference on Thursday in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, explained that Assange had sought citizenship and that it had been granted on 12 December last year.

” The Ecuadorian government is empowered to grant nationality to the protected person and thus facilitate … his inclusion in the host country ,” Espinosa told reporters.

Assange’s life could be under threat from other states, she cautioned, adding that she was seeking a” dignified and merely” solution to his situation with Britain.

On Wednesday evening, the UK Foreign Office put out a statement explaining that:” The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request , nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice .”

At the same time Assange appeared on his Twitter account for the first time wearing an Ecuadorian national football shirt.

A statement by Assange’s legal team said:” The UN ruling, issued almost two years ago, is crystal clear in the original language.[ He] is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the UK authorities and must be released. The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration’s public threats to’ take down’ Mr Assange .”

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Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emails

Cambridge Analytica executive confirms firm asked Assange to share hacked emails related to Clinton reportedly around period it started working for Trump

The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica has confirmed that the UK data research firm contacted Julian Assange to ask WikiLeaks to share hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton at about the time it started working for the Trump campaign in summer 2016.

Speaking at a digital conference in Lisbon, Alexander Nix said he had read a newspaper report about WikiLeaks’ menace to publish a trove of hacked Democratic party emails, and said he asked his aides to approach Assange in early June 2016 to ask” if he might share that datum with us”, according to remarks published by the Wall street Journal .

Assange, WikiLeaks’s founder, has already acknowledged the approach by Cambridge Analytica and said WikiLeaks repudiated any such requests. In Lisbon, Nix reportedly agreed that the overture had been rebuffed.

” We received a message back from them that he didn’t want to and wasn’t able to, and that was the end of the story ,” Nix said at the Web Summit conference, in agreement with the WSJ. He called the exchange” very benign “.

However, the contacts between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks are of interest to investigators looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The documents published by WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016 were later determined by US intelligence agencies to have been stolen by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

According to the Journal, citing emails and unnamed sources, Cambridge Analytica had sent employees to the Trump digital campaign headquarters and was in the process of finalising a contract with the campaign in early June of last year, apparently around the time Nix said he made the approach to Assange. It is not suggested that Cambridge Analytica induced the approach at the Trump campaign’s petition. The Guardian has contacted Cambridge Analytica for commentary.

Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee looking into possible Trump-Moscow collusion has said the committee had a” deep interest” in the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks.

In an interview at the Web Summit, Nix rejected any suggestion of collusion with Russia.

” We did not work with Russia in this election, and moreover we would never work with a third-party country performer in another country’s campaign ,” he said.

Robert Mercer, a Trump mega-donor, and his daughter, Rebekah, are major investors in Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon was a vice-president of the company before joining the Trump campaign and becoming the president’s chief strategist in the White House.

Cambridge Analytica’s website promises to help clients gain advantage over political opponents with its data analysts of US voter behaviour. It claims to hold up to 5,000 pieces of data on more than 230 million voters, to build a “psychographic” profile of targeted voters.

The company was hired to become part of the digital campaign, which was overseen by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and was paid $5.9 m, according to the Federal Election Commission.

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Julian Assange: I urged Trump Jr to publish Russia emails via WikiLeaks

Site founder says he believed chairwomen son should release documents anonymously, given that Trump Jrs enemies already had them

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has claimed that he contacted Donald Trump Jr and tried to persuade him to publish emails indicating he was eager to accept sensitive information about Hillary Clinton via the anti-secrecy website.

Instead, the US chairpeople eldest son did so via Twitter, kindling a firestorm of criticism around his apparent willingness to work with the Russian government against his fathers Democratic rival.

Contacted Trump Jr this morning to the reasons why he should publish his emails( i.e with us ), tweeted Assange, who is based at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Two hours later, does it himself.

Asked by another Twitter user to explain, Assange elaborated: I argued that his adversaries have it so why not the public? His foes will just milk isolated phrases for weeks or months … with their own context, spin and according to their own strategic timetable. Better to be transparent and have the full context … but would have been safer for us to publish it anonymously sourced. By publishing it himself it is easier to submit as evidence.

It was not clear whether Assanges use of the word adversaries was the reference to the media or political rivals.

The Australian added: Hes surely had advice and/ or is confident on the facts. Id argue that even the completely innocent need @WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks played important roles in the US presidential election, publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee( DNC) and Clintons campaign manager, John Podesta.

As a candidate, Trump proclaimed: I love WikiLeaks! US intelligence agencies concluded that the hacking was carried out by Russia.

Trumps longtime confidante Roger Stone communicated with Assange and a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who began posting DNC documents on 15 June less than a week after Trump Jrs meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York.

WikiLeaks apparent overlap of interests with the Trump campaign depicted scrutiny at the time. Robert Mackey of the Intercept website wrote in August last year: The WikiLeaks Twitter feed has started to look more like the river of an opponent research firm working mainly to undermine Hillary Clinton than the updates of a non-partisan platform for whistleblowers.

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Britain wants a ‘way out’ of the Julian Assange standoff, says Ecuador

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, foreign minister, says UK and Ecuador working on an opening

Britain is interested in finding a solution to the stalemate that has led to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being holed up in Ecuadors London embassy for five years, the foreign minister of the South American country has said.

In May, Sweden dropped an investigation into rape accusations that led Assange, 45, to seek asylum in the embassy in 2012, but British police said he would still be arrested if he left the building.

The United Kingdom wants a way out, but plainly that is in the hands of the UK justice system, they have their procedures, their ways, the council of ministers, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, told reporters on Thursday. This opening has been there, and we are working on it.

A British court issued an apprehend warrant for Assange when he failed to surrender to the court on 29 June, 2012, and the Metropolitan Police Service is compelled to execute that warrant, the London police said in May.

Assange, who denies the rape accusations, dreads being handed over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks publication of thousands of categorized military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest datum leaks in US history.

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Ecuador presidential election: conflicting exit polls signal tight finish

Ruling partys Lenin Moreno and rightwing Guillermo Lasso appear to be neck and neck, with fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the line

Ecuador ogled determined for a tense presidential election count on Sunday night as exit poll handed conflicting forecasts of a closely fought election that could choose the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The ruling partys Lenin Moreno was narrowly ahead of his right wing rival Guillermo Lasso, according to a inspect by Perfiles y Opinion which handed the left-wing nominee 52.2% is comparable to 47.8% for his antagonist. However, a different polling house, Cedatos, swopped their positions, putting Lasso ahead on 53% with Moreno trailing on 47%.

The uncertainty ogled set to linger through the night as polls were taken into account in polling stations from the Amazon and the Andes to the Pacific coast and the Galapagos Islands.

For the countrys 15 million inhabitants, what is at bet is whether to continue the redistributive programs of the regulating party, which won the previous three polls under Rafael Correa, reduced poverty and improved access to education and healthcare, but has also been criticized for media censoring, corruption and abandoning many of its environmental hopes.

Ecuadorean presidential nominee Guillermo Lasso speaks to supporters in a hotel in Guayaquil. Photo: Henry Romero/ Reuters

The alternative is proposed by Lasso was a pro-business, pro-austerity program that promised tariff sections and more chores, though Lasso was plagued with accusations of tariff shunning through dozens of offshore histories.

He likewise promised to ask Assange to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London within a month of securing a mandate because he said the asylum granted to the WikiLeaks founder was constituting a burden on the countrys taxpayers. Assange is reportedly sufficiently concerned to have instructed lawyers in Quito in case Lasso triumphs.

The election will likewise have regional ramifications. Should Moreno triumph, it will cement Ecuadors honour as a bastion of the left end of The countries of latin america. Should he lose, it will be taken as another clue of countries of the region retreating pink motion, following defeats for the left end of an Argentinian election and a Bolivian referendum, plus the impeachment and oust of Workers party president Dilma Rousseff in Brazil.

With the bets high in Ecuador, there used to be accusations of vote-rigging and other questionable practices during the first round, which is now being retarded because the result was end, though independent observers from the Union of South American Nations said there was no evidence of fraud and praised the election process as transparent.

The foreign minister, Guillaume Long, urged all involved not to discount the process for political reasonableness. Its important that everything areas accept the results that will be issued by the electoral administrations and demo their democratic commitment without shedding around other inaccurate accusations or claiming that any defeat is due to irregularities, he told the Guardian.

Earlier in the working day, Moreno voted at a polling station in the middle-class Rumipampa neighbourhood of Quito, while his supporters gathered outside chanting: You can see it, you can feel it, Lenin president.

Moreno, who employs a wheelchair, called for the election to be quiet process. Let the peoples of the territories make their decision, he said.

As police modelled a cordon to hold back the multitude, voters many of them supporters of opposition nominee Guillermo Lasso affirmed who are not able to enter the polling station to vote, as Moreno sympathisers jeered.

I voted for Lasso, I voted for a change, Maria Jose Maldonado, 33, a business administrator told the Guardian. We dont require a tyranny we dont require our democracy taken away, we dont want to be like Venezuela, she spoke, alluding to the move by the state supreme court in Caracas to take over legislative powers in the opposition-controlled Venezuelan congress last week.

Casting his vote in Ecuadors port metropolitan of Guayaquil, former bank boss Lasso spoke: This is a crucial period, this isnt any poll, here theres a route; theres a route to Venezuela or a path to democracy and freedom.

At the polling stations in Quito where Moreno voted, Nora Molina, 57, told me that she voted for him because we have made a lot of progress in the last 10 years and we want it to continue.

Voting with her young children, Patricia Romero, 37, told me that she backed Moreno: I would like him to continue with the revolution which has helped us and he is genuinely very concerned about the people.

Supporters of government nominee Lenin Moreno on the streets in Quito.
Photograph: Mariana Bazo/ Reuters

On the other hand, Carlos Muso, a 54 -year-old taxi driver, said he had opted for Lasso because he would promote small businesses like his. We need a change. Lasso is the best opportunity we have. We need a elevate for the private sector, lots of firms have had to close and thats no good.

Morenos supporters, draped in lime-green colours of the Alianza Pas coalition, recognized the occasion with music on a theatre made on a prime street the headquarters in Quito.

Lassos supporters had their own festivals in the port metropolitan of Guayaquil, where he voted, while hundreds more massed outside the countrys electoral card headquarters awaiting the final results.

While Lasso tweeted: Democracy has prevailed, democracy has prevailed in Ecuador, Correa, the outgoing chairwoman, expended Twitter to call for appease and await government officials results as two exit poll have given absolutely contradictory results. Person lies, Correa tweeted.

It is the tightest race in living retention, spoke Santiago Basabe, a political scientist with the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. I dont think weve ever had such a close poll, so hard-fought with such a high level of skepticism among the population, he spoke.

The voter indecision is because the candidates shortfall the attractivenes and conviction of Correa, spoke Hernan Reyes, a political scientist at Quitos Simon Bolivar Andean University.

Neither candidate rendered any sort of fervour of the manner the Ecuadorean voter is used to, he said.

Curated from: http :// us

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